How to detect undercover officers

If you want to see the evil of some undercover officers, and how far the sociopaths among them are willing to go when infiltrating militant groups, study the case of Bob Lambert:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/oct/07/met-police-pay-compensation-to-man-fathered-by-undercover-officer

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/nov/20/lisa-jones-girlfriend-of-undercover-police-office-mark-kennedy-interview

As documented in the book “Undercover” by Lewis and Evans, two Guardian journalists, intelligence agencies even hire people to play the fake parents of an UC officer, in case other militant activists want to knock on the door of his parents’ house in order to verify his identity.

When setting up a “legend” (a fake background story) for an undercover officer, the intelligence community (IC) will register his fake name and birth certificate in all public databases. Let’s say they give him an appropriate name, like Benny Arnold, for example. The IC will then contact the principal of a school or university to inform him/her that if anybody asks if Benny was a pupil or student there, the officials should confirm it.

To stop infiltration don’t set up a counterintelligence unit, because the IC will only try to infiltrate it. Before allowing anybody to be in a militant group, check the background of each central participant in a “radical” movement in the following way:

If an old or new member is from a different state far away, it will be easiest to use a phone to verify his identity. While other central participants in the movement are present in the room, with nobody carrying mobile phones, check his identity by letting him use a burner phone, which is put on the speaker, so that everybody can hear the conversation when he calls all former pupils in his class at elementary school, middle school or high school. He should introduce himself and say he’s calling to invite them to a reunion party. If some don’t remember his name, let him talk about events that occurred in the class, to see if they recall the same events. Then ask him to call neighbors and shop owners who still live where he grew up. He can for example say to them that he is writing a book or blog about how life was in his home town as a kid.

NSA may develop algorithms which flag all calls that are characterized by the patterns described in the last section above. If ten people in a room use the same burner phone to call former class mates it can be detected by AI, especially if they all talk about the same topic: an invite to a reunion party. It’s therefore best to be creative when trying to find plausible reasons to contact 20-30 pupils and neighbors who instantly verify the real identity of a person just by remembering his name from childhood. Just check that the IC hasn’t stolen the identity of a real person who actually went to the same class as the people you call.

If an old or new member of a militant movement is from a place relatively near, go with him to the neighborhood where he grew up and see if people there recognize him when he starts talking with them. Visit shops and stores to check whether the owners remember him.

The IC may contact all former pupils in a class and tell them that FBI got an undercover officer inside a very dangerous terrorist group, so if he calls them one day they should play along and say they know him. But average citizens, especially women, will get nervous and not speak naturally if getting a call from an UC operator pretending to be a “very dangerous terrorist”, so listen carefully to how they react when being contacted.

Undercover officers will sometimes say they have no family or claim they grew up on a military base abroad. At least once every six months some of them, but not all, will make up reasons to go away, for a couple of days or a whole week, in order to be together with their own real family. When they decide to leave a militant group, if they are burned out and have not found anything of interest yet, they will gradually become less active in the movement, by for example moving to another place and call members of the militant group from a distance, then gradually reduce the number of calls, until they naturally lose contact and fade away. This cool-down process may take a year or more.

Be suspicious of anybody with a criminal record. They may have become informants in exchange for a reduced sentence. In any militant movement the first rule should be to have a “Zen” attitude toward the fact that everyone might be a snitch or undercover agent, even the leader of a group, cf Mark Kennedy. Consequently, if you decide to plan a militant operation do it either alone, without informing anybody else in the movement, or participate in a small cell of only 2-3 close friends. Never talk about it to anyone.

If you have a need to brag about your militant accomplishments, to take credit for it, never do anything seriously illegal or else you have a high risk of being arrested and sent to jail, only because your ego made you talk about things you shouldn’t. Be a silent professional. That’s how the CIA operates (though not all SF soldiers…)

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