OT NATO spy leaked bombing secrets

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Thursday, 9 March, 2000, 06:02 GMT Nato spy 'leaked bombing secrets'

Nato flew more than 3,000 bombing missions A mole at Nato headquarters is alleged to have leaked secrets of the Kosovo campaign to the Yugoslav military command.

Information leaked during the first two weeks of the campaign included targets to be hit and precise flight paths, according to intelligence sources within the US Air Force.

Details of the deployment of Nato reconnaissance operations were allegedly given to Belgrade, enabling the Serbs to move troops and equipment out of the target zones.

The allegations are the subject of a BBC television documentary called Moral Combat: Nato At War, to be broadcast on Sunday.

The BBC programme says that General Wesley Clark, Nato's Supreme Allied Commander, was convinced that there was a mole inside the organisation.

"I know I have a spy, I want to find him," he is said to have told colleagues at the time.

Leak plugged

Access to details of daily air tasking orders allocating missions and targets - which initially went to 600 people on a secure computer network - was cut back to 100, and it is said that the leaks stopped immediately.

A Nato spokesman said the alliance's military headquarters had no knowledge or evidence that the air tasking orders were compromised.

He insisted that security procedures were continually reviewed and that steps were taken to ensure that sensitive information reached only those with a need to know.

The BBC's defence correspondent, Andrew Gilligan, says the mole has not been caught, but heavy hints are being dropped that it was not a leak from Nato headquarters itself, but from one of the national delegations attached to it or from a national government.

Stealth bomber

In August last year it was reported that a spy may have leaked the flight plan of an American F-117A stealth fighter shot down by Yugoslav forces during the Kosovo conflict.

The Scotsman newspaper alleged that an unidentified Nato officer leaked top secret flight plans and mission targets to Russian military intelligence, who passed the information on to the Serbs.

In November 1998, a senior French military officer was arrested and detained in Paris on charges of spying for the Yugoslav Government.

The BBC programme also reveals that a Swedish financier was sent on a secret mission to Moscow and Belgrade during the war.


Spy 'betrayed' stealth fighter

The Yugoslav media replayed images of the Stealth wreckage

A spy may have leaked the flight plan of an American F-117A stealth fighter shot down by Yugoslav forces during the Kosovo conflict, according to a British newspaper report.

The Scotsman - published in Edinburgh - alleges that an unidentified Nato officer leaked top secret flight plans and mission targets to Russian military intelligence.

Moscow then passed the information on to the Serbs, according to the article, which was written by military analyst Paul Beaver.

"The Serbs are claiming that they managed to shoot down the fighter because they had information about its track - and they were able to set what's known as a SAMbush, a surface-to-air ambush", Mr Beaver said on Friday.

No comment

The Russians have declined to comment.

"Like any other intelligence service in the world, our service does not comment as to whether this or that individual belongs or does not belong to its personnel or agent structures", a spokesman for Russian Military Intelligence (SVR) told the Interfax news agency.

The shooting down of the Nighthawk aircraft on 27 March was highly embarrassing for Nato and the US defence establishment.

The wreckage of the fighter was shown repeatedly on Serbian state-run television.

The pilot ejected safely and was rescued by Nato search-and-rescue teams - narrowly eluding attempts by the Yugoslav army to capture him.

The Pentagon has been quoted as rejecting the Scotsman claim, saying that the "tasking orders" for American missions did not go through Nato channels.

The article says the alleged spy was an officer high up in Nato's Brussels command structure, with access to highly-sensitive documents.

"Russian military intelligence was passing on information to the Serbs during the war," said Russian defence analyst Pavel Felganhauer.

"But it would be strange for them to compromise such a well-placed spy just to get one plane."

Mr Felganhauer told the BBC it was possible that a lucky strike by Serb air defences had been turned into an opportunity to "reduce the effectiveness of Nato staff work" by starting a hunt for an imaginary spy.

'Low observable' aircraft

The secret of the fighter's success is "stealth technology" - special composite materials designed to minimise the plane's profile to enemy radar systems.

Aerospace analysts say the planes - known as "Low Observable" aircraft - are not actually invisible to radar or infra-red sensors.

But the special materials - coupled with absorbent paint - make them very hard to locate.

Normally, by the time they are detected - if that happens - the attack has already taken place.

A single-seater, the F-117A was originally conceived in the late 1970s.

The US Air Force intended it as a weapon that could "penetrate dense threat environments as well as attack high value targets with pinpoint accuracy".


******Note the date: Monday, November 2, 1998 Published at 22:18 GMT

World: Europe

French officer 'spied for Serbs

By Paris Correspondent Stephen Jessel

A senior French military officer has been arrested and detained in Paris on charges of spying for the Yugoslav Government.

Major Pierre Bunel is alleged to have handed over details of targets to be hit by Nato aircraft in the event that Serbia did not pull its troops out of the heavily-Albanian province of Kosovo.

Major Bunel, 46, was a member of the French delegation to Nato's military committee at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels.

He was detained last week and questioned for four days before being formally placed under investigation on Saturday.

Reports quoting reliable sources say that he is suspected of handing over to Serb agents details of the military sites selected for Nato air attack.

In the end, the forces were withdrawn late last month and the prospect of a Nato strike has receded - at least for the time being.

The reports say that Major Bunel acted out of sympathy for the Serb cause and not for money.

If found guilty of spying for a foreign power, he could face up to 15 years in prison.

Earlier this year a French liaison officer in Bosnia was accused by an American newspaper of warning the Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, of Nato plans to arrest him.

The French authorities denied the charges but accepted that his relationship with Serb leaders developed in a way that was open to question, and the officer was recalled to France.

There is a pro-Serbia tradition in the French armed forces which is reported to have emerged on occasions during the conflict in Bosnia.

-- viewer (justp@ssing.by), March 09, 2000


http: //dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000309/ts/nato_spy_2.html

Thursday March 9 12:32 AM ET

Paper Says NATO Spy Leaked Bombing Plans to Serbs

LONDON (Reuters) - A spy in NATO provided the Serbs with top-secret details of the alliance's bombing raids against Yugoslavia during the Kosovo conflict last year, the Guardian reported Thursday.

The details included targets to be hit and precise flight paths, the newspaper said, citing unidentified high-level U.S. sources.

NATO spokesman Jamie Shea told the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) there was no evidence the alliance's operational planning had been compromised.

``What I can say is there was no evidence inside the alliance that our operational planning was ever compromised,'' he said.

``The second thing is that NATO took extreme measures to make sure that its operational planning remained secret. Every couple of weeks the procedures were reviewed, we tightened up the distribution list...to make sure that only those who really had a need to know were in the picture. We took great care.''

The Guardian said an internal classified report drawn up for senior U.S. defense officials concluded the Serbs had access to NATO's daily orders for air raids and reconnaissance flights during the first two weeks of the bombing campaign which began last March.

It quoted the report as saying that by the end of the second week of the campaign, NATO started to change the way the orders about bombing raids were distributed.

The effect on what the Serbs appeared to know about NATO's bombing plans was immediate, the report said.

The Guardian quoted a senior NATO source as saying the alliance's supreme commander, General Wesley Clark, suspected early in the bombing campaign that Belgrade had a spy in the organization's Brussels headquarters.

``I know I've got a spy, I want to find him,'' Clark was quoted as telling colleagues.

The Guardian said the classified U.S. report would feature in a BBC television program to be broadcast Sunday.

-- viewer (justp@ssing.by), March 09, 2000.

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