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In the field of counterintelligence, a double agent (also double secret agent) is an employee of a secret intelligence service, whose primary purpose is to spy on a different target organization, but who, in fact, is a member of the target organization.[1]

Double agentry may be practiced by spies of the target organization who infiltrate the controlling organization, or may result from the turning (switching sides) of previously loyal agents of the controlling organization by the target. The threat of execution is the most common method of turning a captured agent (working for an intelligence service) into a double agent (working for a foreign intelligence service) or a double agent into a re-doubled agent. It is unlike a defector, who is not considered an agent as agents are in place to function for an intelligence service and defectors are not, but some consider that defectors in place are agents until they have defected.

Double agents are often used to transmit disinformation or to identify other agents as part of counter-espionage operations. They are often very trusted by the controlling organization since the target organization will give them true, but useless or even counterproductive, information to pass along.

Contents

Double agentsEdit

  Double agent   Re-doubled agent   Mole

Examples of known double agents and moles
Context Agent Nationality Loyal to Spying on Comments References
Wars of the Three Kingdoms
1639 – 1651
Samuel Morland   English   Restoration   Commonwealth of England  
Richard Willis   English   Commonwealth of England   Restoration  
World War I
1914 – 1918
Mata Hari   Dutch   German Empire   French Third Republic  
World War II
1939 – 1945
Mathilde Carré "La Chatte"   French   Double-Cross System
Roman Czerniawski "Brutus"   Polish   Double-Cross System
Eddie Chapman "ZigZag"   English   Double-Cross System Infiltrated the German Abwehr during World War II whilst feeding intelligence to MI5. He was so trusted by the Germans that he is reportedly the only British citizen to have ever been awarded the Iron Cross
Walter Dicketts "Celery"   English   Double-Cross System (1940-1943) Ex RNAS officer sent to Lisbon and Germany to infiltrate the Abwehr, report on invasion plans for Britain, and establish the bona fides of Snow (subsequently imprisoned until the end of war). Subjected to an intensive five-day interrogation in Hamburg and survived.[2] Later sent back to Lisbon to persuade Abwehr officer, George Sessler, to defect and worked undercover in Brazil.
Roger Grosjean "Fido"   French   Double-Cross System French Air Force pilot who worked for the British
Christiaan Lindemans "King Kong"   Dutch   Abwehr (1944)     SOE (1940-1944)
Dutch resistance (1941-1944)
 
Arthur Owens "Snow"   Welsh   Double-Cross System  
Johann-Nielsen Jebsen
"Jonny" "Artist"
  German   Abwehr (1939-1941)
  MI6 (1941-1945)
  Abwehr (1941-1945) Anti-Nazi German intelligence officer and British double agent. Jebsen recruited Dušan Popov.
Ivan Popov "LaLa" "Aesculap" "Dreadnought" "Hans"   Serbian   VOA (1939-1945)
  Abwehr (1940-1944)
  MI6 (1941-1945)
  Abwehr (1941-1945) Yugoslav working for his national military agency VOA. He also worked for British MI6 and German Abwehr. In German Gestapo he held rank of Obersturmbannführer. Brother of Dušan Popov.
Dušan Popov "Duško" "Tricycle" "Ivan"   Serbian   VOA (1939-1945)
  Abwehr (1940-1941)
  MI6 (1940-1945)
  Abwehr (1941-1945) Yugoslav working for his national military agency VOA. He also worked for British MI6 and German Abwehr. In British army he held rank of Colonel. Brother of Ivan Popov.
John Herbert Neal Moe "Mutt and Jeff"   Norwegian   Double-Cross System  
Tor Glad "Mutt and Jeff"   Norwegian   Double-Cross System  
Juan Pujol García "Garbo"   Catalan[3]   Double-Cross System British double agent in German spy service-awarded both an MBE and an Iron Cross
Johann Wenzel   Polish
Before 1942

  Red Orchestra

After 1942

  Gestapo

Before 1942

  Nazi Germany

After 1942

  Soviet Union

Member of Red Orchestra spy ring who, after being unmasked by the Germans, fed false information to the Soviet Union
William Sebold "Tramp"   German
  U.S. citizen
  FBI (1939)   Abwehr (1939) Coerced by the Abwehr into becoming a spy, exposed the Duquesne Spy Ring to the FBI.
Cold War
1947 – 1991
Aldrich Ames   American   KGB   CIA (1957-1993)  
John Cairncross "Liszt"   Scottish   MGB
  Cambridge Five
  MI5 (1941-1944)
  GC&CS (1942-1943)
  MI6 (1944-1945)
 
Anthony Blunt "Johnson"   English   NKVD
  Cambridge Five
  MI5  
Guy Burgess "Hicks"   English   MGB
  Cambridge Five
  MI5 (1939-1941)
  Foreign Office (1944-1956)
 
Donald Maclean "Homer"   English   MGB
  Cambridge Five
  MI5
  MI6
 
Kim Philby "Stanley"   English
  Born in India
  MGB
  Cambridge Five
  MI6  
George Blake   Dutch   KGB   MI6  
Oleg Gordievsky   Russian   MI6 (1968-2008)   KGB (1963-1985) Abducted in Moscow in 1985; escaped to the United Kingdom two months later.
Matei Pavel Haiducu   Romanian   DST (1981)   DIE (1975-1982) Defected to France in 1981.
Dmitri Polyakov   Ukrainian   FBI
  CIA
  GRU Executed in 1988.
Robert Hanssen   American   GRU   FBI Worked for the FBI and sold information to the Soviet Union as a mole.
Oleg Kalugin   Russian   CIA   KGB Longtime head of KGB operations in the U.S., provided disinformation regarding American involvement in Prague Spring; and also played a role in the establishment of Yeltsin as post-USSR leader. Sentenced in absentia in 2002 to 15 years imprisonment; the US refuses to extradite him
Oleg Penkovskiy "Hero"   Russian   NSA
  MI6
  GRU A colonel with GRU informed the U.K. and the U.S. about the Soviet emplacement of missiles in Cuba; executed by the Soviets in 1963.
Stig Bergling   Swedish   GRU   SÄPO Among other things, handed over the entire Swedish "FO-code", a top secret list of Sweden's defence establishments, coastal artillery fortifications and mobilization stores. Convicted in 1979 and sentenced to life imprisonment for treason.
Eduardo Sagaro   Cuba   Dirección General de Inteligencia   CIA A Cuban paediatrician who was recruited by the CIA to report on the health of Fidel Castro, other Cuban leaders, Cuban troops in Angola and health related issues in Cuba including the effect of infectious diseases but in fact during his CIA career he worked for the Cubans. [4]
Arab–Israeli conflict
1948 –
Ashraf Marwan   Egyptian   Mossad   Egypt Egyptian businessman and an alleged spy for Israel, or possibly an Egyptian double agent; managed to become celebrated as a hero in each country for his alleged work against the other.
Basque conflict
1959 – 2011
Mikel Lejarza "El Lobo"   Basque   CESID   ETA  
Northern Ireland conflict
1968 – 1998
Denis Donaldson   Northern Irish   MI5
  PSNI
  Provisional IRA
  Sinn Féin
Assassinated at his cottage in County Donegal after being exposed by a Northern Ireland newspaper, The Derry Journal.
"Kevin Fulton"   Northern Irish   Royal Irish Rangers
  Int Corps
  Provisional IRA Allegedly betrayed by his employers and nearly sacrificed to cement Freddie Scappaticci's cover in the IRA.
Freddie Scappaticci "Stakeknife"   Italian   FRU   Provisional IRA
  ISU
Allegedly the British government ordered him to expose Fulton to increase his own standing in the IRA.
Robert Nairac   English
  Born in Mauritius
  British Army   Provisional IRA  
Global War on Terrorism
2001 –
"April Fool"   American   United States   Iraq Allegedly, an American officer who provided false information to Saddam Hussein
Iyman Faris   Pakistani
  U.S. citizen
  al-Qaeda   FBI  
Chinese intelligence operations in the United States Katrina Leung   Chinese
  Taiwan citizen
  U.S. citizen
  MSS   FBI  

Re-doubled agentEdit

A re-doubled agent is an agent who gets caught as a double agent and is forced to mislead the foreign intelligence service. F.M. Begoum describes the redoubled agent as "one whose duplicity in doubling for another service has been detected by his original sponsor and who has been persuaded to reverse his affections again".[5]

Triple agentEdit

A triple agent is an agent who works for three intelligence services, but is usually truly loyal to only one of them.

Events in which double agents played an important roleEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Definition of DOUBLE AGENT". 
  2. ^ Woolveridge, Richard (22 September 2017). "The Spy Who Stayed Out in the Cold". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  3. ^ García, Juan Pujol; West, Nigel (2011). "Childhood". Operation Garbo: The Personal Story of the Most Successful Spy of World War II. Biteback Publishing. ISBN 9781849546256. 
  4. ^ Becker, Brian (12 December 2016). "How Cuba Penetrated the CIA Ring in Cuba: Spy VS Spy-Hunter". Loud & Clear. Sputnik. 
  5. ^ Begoum, F.M. "Observations on the Double Agent". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 

External linksEdit