Good Recording Taken YESTERDAY of Shortwave Radio Broadcasts to Cuban Spies in The Field 1

Good signal of Cuban Spy Numbers HM01, Oct.7

By Bulgarian DX blog

LZ2GPB and OBSERVER’s blog dedicated to the hobby of DX-ing: from longwave, mediumwave and shortwave all the way up to VHF radio and satellite monitoring.

NUMBERS STATION   Good signal of Cuban Spy Numbers HM01, Oct.7

0455-0550 on 10860 secret/hidden site (Bejucal) Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

0555-0650 on 10345 secret/hidden site (Bejucal) Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

0655-0750 on  9330 secret/hidden site (Bejucal) Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

Editor’s Note:  Recorded YESTERDAY, three good quality recordings of Havana’s High Frequency (i.e., “shortwave” or “ham radio”) broadcasts to its officers and agents in the field. For the last 25 years, Cuba has been slowly transitioning from HF to internet-based communications. At this point, only its technological dinosaurs still use HF.

Cuba OKs US air marshals on commercial flights Reply

air-marshallby Tribune News Service

MIAMI—Cuba will allow US air marshals on regularly scheduled commercial flights between the two countries, island authorities announced on Friday.

Josefina Vidal, director of the Cuban Foreign Ministry’s department for the United States, posted on her Twitter account that an “arrangement on the deployment of air marshals onboard airlines was amended to make it applicable to scheduled flights.”

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) confirmed the agreement in a statement on Friday.

“With regard to Federal Air Marshal Service [FAMS] coverage on flights to/from Cuba, TSA has an arrangement in place for charter and scheduled commercial flights,” the statement said. “As a general matter, to protect the operations and efficacy of our Federal Air Marshal program, TSA does not provide specific information about when or which flights are covered by our air marshals, as that could potentially compromise security.”

The twin announcements eliminate a confrontation between the Obama administration and members of Congress over the security of flights to and from Cuba.

The TSA admitted in mid-September that no federal air marshals were aboard the regularly scheduled commercial flights to Cuba that started in late August.

Sen. Marco Rubio, Republican-Florida, and other Congress members quickly accused the Obama administration of lying because TSA officials had declared earlier that a bilateral agreement for the air marshals would be in place by the time the flights started.

As the controversy continued, the House Committee on Homeland Security approved a measure to suspend the regular flights until the TSA certified that Cuban airports met all security requirements. The measure was submitted by Rep. John Katko, Republican-New York, chairman of the subcommittee on transportation security.

Cuba’s Foreign Ministry also announced that representatives of the two countries had met in Washington on Wednesday to discuss “the security of the flow of people and goods between the two countries, and mutual concerns about cyber security.”

Officials from the Cuban Ministries of the Interior and Transportation, as well as the Customs Department took part in the meeting, along with US officials from the Departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security.

Representatives of both government also gathered in Washington Friday for the fourth round of meetings of the Bilateral Commission, to review progress on issues of “shared priority,” such as cooperation on commercial flights, public health and the fight against drug trafficking.

Editor’s Note:  Career Directorate of Intelligence (DI) officer Josefina de la C. Vidal left the US in 2003 when 14 Cuban spy-diplomats were declared Persona Non Grata. Among the spies officially expelled was her husband, First Secretary Jose Anselmo Lopez Perera. A First Secretary at the Cuban Interests Section like her husband, Vidal “voluntarily” returned to Cuba.  Long known to US Intelligence as a spy, Vidal and another spy-wife left with their spouses, bringing the total to 16 Cuban spies removed from the United States. This is believed to be roughly half of the Cuban spy-diplomats then serving undercover in Washington and New York. For the last several years, she has served under shallow cover as head of the North America portfolio in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX). She remains one of Havana’s premier experts in US affairs, but her expulsion will likely continue to limit her spy career until her retirement.

Ignoring Science After Cuban Spy Ana Belen Montes Beat the Polygraph, DoD IG Recommended More Polygraphs 1

dod-ig-seal-officialby AntiPolygraph.org

On Friday, 21 September 2001, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s senior analyst for Cuban affairs, 16-year veteran Ana Belen Montes, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit espionage for Cuba. News that Montes had beaten the polygraph while spying for Cuba was first reported here on AntiPolygraph.org by one of our forum members. That Montes beat the polygraph is confirmed by retired DIA counterintelligence investigator Scott W. Carmichael, who writes “She had successfully completed DIA’s counterintelligence scope polygraph examination in March 1994, seemingly with flying colors.”

More recently, it has been revealed that Montes and a friend, Marta Rita Velázquez, received training in polygraph countermeasures in Cuba before Montes started working for the DIA in 1985. Montes is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence.

The Department of Defense’s Office of the Inspector General conducted a review of the Montes case and on 16 June 2005 produced a top secret report titled, “Review of the Actions Taken to Deter, Detect and Investigate the Espionage Activities of Ana Belen Montes.” An unclassified version of the report (15 MB PDF) with major redactions has been publicly released.

The DoD IG reviewed over 250,000 pages of documentation but evidently failed to review the National Academy of Science’s (NAS) 2003 landmark report, The Polygraph and Lie Detection, which concluded, among other things, that “[polygraph testing’s] accuracy in distinguishing actual or potential security violators from innocent test takers is insufficient to justify reliance on its use in employee security screening in federal agencies.” The NAS report is nowhere mentioned in the Montes review.

The 180-page report devotes just a single page — half of which is redacted — to Montes’ having beaten the polygraph.

The Montes review makes several recommendations with respect to polygraph policy. In short, it calls for more research into polygraph countermeasures, retention of polygraph charts for 35 years, and requiring polygraph screening for everyone at DIA.

Faced with a Cuban spy who beat the polygraph, DoD consulted not the scientific literature on polygraphy, but rather turned to those with the most to hide — the federal polygraph community — and decided that more polygraphs is the answer.

Retired DIA counterintelligence officer Scott W. Carmichael notes that Montes was hardly the first Cuban spy to beat the polygraph:

Feature continues here:  Counter-Poly Ploys

The Unauthorized Biography of Cuban Spy-Diplomat Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz 3

Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz

Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz  (Photo courtesy of ProgressoWeekly.US)

March 2009 – Present: Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment (MINCEX) (cover assignment)

Dates not recorded: Central Committee member and Deputy to the National Assembly. Licenciado en Economía.

2005: Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations (cover assignment)

2002 to 2005: Ambassador to Belgium, the European Union and Luxembourg (cover assignment)

1998 – 2002: Deputy Minister — Ministry of Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation (cover assignment)

1997-1998: Director, European and North American Division — Ministry of Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation (cover assignment)

1992-1997: Economic Counselor in charge of economic and trade affairs at the Cuban Embassy in Brazil (cover assignment)

1982 – 1992: Specialist on Cooperation in the Division of Economic International Institutions of the State Committee for Economic Cooperation in Havana (cover assignment)

1981: Project Manager with the ECIMETAL Enterprise (cover assignment)

@1981 – Present day: Entered Cuba’s primary foreign intelligence service, the Directorate General of Intelligence (DGI) as an officer in the Q-2 Department, which conducted operations against Cuban exiles. Following a 1989 restructuring, the DGI was renamed the Directorate of Intelligence (DI).

1980: Graduated from the University of Havana with a degree in Economics

Born in Havana, Cuba, on 10/14/56, Malmierca Díaz is married to Grisell Guadalupe Castano-Rey and has two children. His languages include Spanish, English, French & Portuguese.

Editor’s Note: A “cover assignment” is the purported occupation or purpose of an intelligence officer or agent and is intended to explain one’s duties or presence in an area.

The Stupidly Simple Spy Messages No Computer Could Decode 1

Numbers station_The Daily BeastEvery day, hour after hour, the world’s spies send top secret information you can easily listen in on.

By Shan Harris, The Daily Beast

When I was 10 years old, I found a shortwave radio in a crumbling old leather trunk where we kept family photos and other memorabilia. As I spun the dial, tinny, modulating noises, like the song of an electronic slide whistle, emanated from the radio’s small speaker. Staticky cracks and pops competed for airtime. The sounds swished and swirled, unintelligible and unremarkable. But then, emerging through the clamor, was a voice.

I might have run right over it with the dial, but the voice’s rhythmic, steady pacing caught me up short. It wasn’t a deejay. Nor a commercial. And he wasn’t singing. He was just speaking. The same line, over and over again.

“7…6…7…4…3.” Pause. “7…6…7…4…3.”

I don’t remember if those were the exact numbers. But they were numbers. A repeated sequence which had no obvious meaning, and was entirely devoid of context. To find him here, amidst the screeches and howls of the shortwave frequencies, was like coming upon a man standing in the middle of a forest, talking out loud to no one.

How long had he been here? Who was he talking to? He had that officious tone of the recorded telephone operators who chastised you for dialing a wrong number. “Please hang up, check the number, and dial again.” And the same distracting static I’d heard in those messages filled the background. I wasn’t sure if he was speaking live, or if he’d been recorded and set loose to play into the air.

But there was an urgency to his tone. And a purpose. As if he were talking to me. Imploring. Listen. Hear me now. 7…6…7…4…3. Did you get that? 7…6…7…4…3.

I was simultaneously terrified and captivated.

I never touched the radio again. My curiosity was suppressed by a feeling of dread that I had heard something not meant for me. But I never stopped thinking about it. The voice became a character I passed around with friends during late-night ghost stories. The Bell Witch. The Killer in the Back Seat. The Numbers Man.

Article continues here: Numbers Stations

 

Cuba’s Mysterious ‘Numbers Station’ Is Still on the Air 5

Illustration: Shaye Anderson

Illustration: Shaye Anderson

by Joshua Kopstein, Motherboard

On August 18 at 22:00 UTC, I heard a government intelligence agency transferring encrypted messages to spies over the radio.

Or at least, that’s the most common explanation for what I heard.

I dialed to the correct frequency—17480 kHz—using an internet-connected radio tuner maintained by a university in the Netherlands. Suddenly, over waves of static, an eerily-robotic woman’s voice began speaking a series of five-digit number sequences in Spanish.

About three minutes later, the numbers repeated in the same order, but this time each sequence was followed by a digital bell-like tone and a harsh blast of noise, like a 56K modem trying to connect to AOL in the 90s. This continued for about 20 minutes, each sequence punctuated by the bizarre noise blasts.

Then, static.

This is HM01, sometimes called “Voce De La Chica,” a shortwave numbers station believed to be operated by the Cuban intelligence directorate, Dirección de Inteligencia (DI).

To the casual listener, numbers stations are mysterious broadcasts of voices speaking streams of numbers which, in at least some cases, are encrypted messages being sent to government spies.

They have long seemed like Cold War relics, born in a time when spying meant boots-on-the-ground and internet surveillance was impractical or irrelevant. And yet, HM01 continues to operate in what the NSA has called a “golden age” of internet-enabled signals intelligence, and despite historic progress in US-Cuba relations earlier this summer.

While evidence suggests HM01 is operated by the Cuban government, it’s virtually impossible to tell who it’s sending to, which is one of the main tactical advantages of numbers stations: You can easily see the intended recipient of an email, but you can’t prove someone listened to a radio broadcast unless you catch them in the act.

Shortwave radio listeners (or SWLs, as they are known) have followed stations like HM01 for decades. According to members of Priyom.org, an online community of radio enthusiasts that monitors numbers stations, HM01 is a close relative of “Atención,” a government station that has operated for decades and whose transmissions wereused as key evidence in a case that convicted five Cuban spies in the late 90s.

Article continues here: HM01

 

 

 

 

 

Updated High-Frequency (HF) Broadcast Schedule for Cuban Spies Worldwide 1

numbers stationsCuban “Numbers Station” HM01 with new start/end of transmissions: 

By Bulgarian DX Blog    

xx54-xx18 broadcasts 24 minutes; xx18-xx28 open carrier/dead air;

xx28-xx48 broadcasts 20 minutes; xx48-xx54 change of frequencies.

0454-0548 on  5855 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri0

454-0548 on 12120 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri, not active

0454-0548 on 11462 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat

0454-0548 on 14375 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat, not active

0554-0648 on 10345 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

0554-0648 on ????? secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat, ex 9330

0654-0748 on  9330 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

0654-0748 on 13435 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat

0754-0848 on  9065 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

0754-0848 on 11635 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat

0854-0948 on  9240 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

0854-0948 on 11462 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat

0854-0948 on 12120 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat, not active

0954-1048 on  5855 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

0954-1048 on  9155 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

0954-1048 on 11635 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat

0954-1048 on 12180 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat, not active

1554-1648 on 11435 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Daily

1654-1748 on 11530 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Daily

1754-1848 on 11635 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Daily

2054-2148 on 11635 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

2054-2148 on 16180 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat

2154-2248 on 10715 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

2154-2248 on 17480 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat

2254-2348 on 11530 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

2254-2348 on 17540 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat

Editor’s Note:  According to reliable defectors and émigrés, most Cuban spies have moved from HF to internet-based communications. Those still on HF (or morse code in some cases) are technology dinosaurs whom Havana is unwilling or unable to move into the 21st Century.

As Normalization Effort Continues, Cuban Spy Broadcasts Continue…… 3

numbers stationsAs expelled spy-diplomats Josefina Vidal and Gustavo Machin push for greater US concessions, their spy colleagues continue to go “old school” in targeting the US…..

Recent Cuban “Numbers Stations” broadcasts from Havana to the regime’s spies abroad:

February 9th

February 8th

February 6th

January 20th

January 16th

 

The American Spy Traded in the U.S.-Cuba Diplomatic Breakthrough 5

People cheer for the "Cuban Five" while holding a poster of the five Cuban intelligent agents, in Havana December 17, 2014. After 18 months of secret talks facilitated by the Vatican and Canada, Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed by phone on Tuesday on a prisoner exchange and the opening of embassies in each other's countries. Obama said the moves were made possible by Havana's release of American Alan Gross, 65, who had been imprisoned in Cuba for five years. Cuba is also releasing an intelligence agent who spied for the United States and was held for nearly 20 years, and the United States in return freed three Cuban intelligence agents held in the United States. The poster reads "Freedom now !". REUTERS

People cheer for the “Cuban Five” while holding a poster of the five Cuban intelligent agents, in Havana December 17, 2014. After 18 months of secret talks facilitated by the Vatican and Canada, Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed by phone on Tuesday on a prisoner exchange and the opening of embassies in each other’s countries. Obama said the moves were made possible by Havana’s release of American Alan Gross, 65, who had been imprisoned in Cuba for five years. Cuba is also releasing an intelligence agent who spied for the United States and was held for nearly 20 years, and the United States in return freed three Cuban intelligence agents held in the United States. The poster reads “Freedom now !”. REUTERS

By Jeff Stein, Newsweek

The unidentified United States spy being swapped as part of a diplomatic breakthrough between the U.S. and Cuba is almost certainly a former cryptographer in Cuba’s Directorate of Intelligence who worked secretly for the CIA until he was arrested on espionage charges in the mid-1990s, according to a former U.S. intelligence officer and other sources.

Rolando “Roly” Sarraf Trujillo was “an expert on cryptography for the Cuban Ministry of Interior who was arrested in 1995 and sentenced to 25 years in jail,” says Chris Simmons, a former Defense Intelligence Agency specialist on Cuba.

“I know of all the Cubans on the list of people in jail and he is the only one who fits the description” of the unnamed asset who U.S. officials said was part of the deal to reestablish diplomatic relations between the two former Cold War adversaries.  The agent, U.S. officials said, was swapped for the remaining three members of the so-called “Cuban Five” spy ring, a group of operatives arrested in Florida on espionage charges in 1998. Another element of the agreement, which ended a decades-long feud, was Cuba’s decision to free Alan Gross, a U.S. Agency for International Development contractor imprisoned on the island since 2009, on charges of trying to subvert the state.

“I am 99.9 percent sure that Roly is the guy…” Simmons said in a telephone interview  “He’s the only one who fits the description” of the unidentified U.S. intelligence asset being released by Cuba, he added.

In a speech on Wednesday, Cuban President Raul Castro said that a spy of “Cuban origin” was being released. And the Miami Herald’s Spanish-language edition also reported that its sources believe that Sarraff Trujillo was that man.

Neither Cuba nor the Obama administration’s Director of National Intelligence (DNI) would identify the spy in question or comment on Sarraf Trujillo.

DNI spokesman Brian P. Hale said in a prepared statement that the asset being released spent 20 years in a Cuban prison for his work for the United States. Many of the details of his cooperation are classified, but Hale said he was “instrumental in the identification and disruption of several Cuban intelligence operatives in the United States and ultimately led to a series of successful federal espionage prosecutions.”

Indeed, according to Hale, the spy “provided the information that led to the identification and conviction of Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) senior analyst Ana Belen Montes; former Department of State official Walter Kendall Myers and his spouse Gwendolyn Myers; and members of the Red Avispa network, or ‘Wasp Network,’ in Florida, which included members of the so-called Cuban Five.”

Simmons said that, “just as a matter of elimination,” it’s Sarraf Trujillo.

Feature continues here:  Spy Swap

 

FBI: Cuban Intelligence Aggressively Recruiting Leftist American Academics as Spies, Influence Agents 10

Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon

Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon

Sexual entrapment a common tactic

By Bill Gertz, Washington Free Beacon

Cuba’s communist-led intelligence services are aggressively recruiting leftist American academics and university professors as spies and influence agents, according to an internal FBI report published this week.

Cuban intelligence services “have perfected the work of placing agents, that includes aggressively targeting U.S. universities under the assumption that a percentage of students will eventually move on to positions within the U.S. government that can provide access to information of use to the [Cuban intelligence service],” the five-page unclassified FBI report says. It notes that the Cubans “devote a significant amount of resources to targeting and exploiting U.S. academia.”

“Academia has been and remains a key target of foreign intelligence services, including the [Cuban intelligence service],” the report concludes.

One recruitment method used by the Cubans is to appeal to American leftists’ ideology. “For instance, someone who is allied with communist or leftist ideology may assist the [Cuban intelligence service] because of his/her personal beliefs,” the FBI report, dated Sept. 2, said.

Others are offered lucrative business deals in Cuba in a future post-U.S. embargo environment, and are treated to extravagant, all-expense paid visits to the island.

Coercive tactics used by the Cubans include exploiting personal weaknesses and sexual entrapment, usually during visits to Cuba.

The Cubans “will actively exploit visitors to the island” and U.S. academics are targeted by a special department of the spy agency.

“This department is supported by all of the counterintelligence resources the government of Cuba can marshal on the island,” the report said. “Intelligence officers will come into contact with the academic travelers. They will stay in the same accommodations and participate in the activities arranged for the travelers. This clearly provides an opportunity to identify targets.”

In addition to collecting information and secrets, Cuban spies employ “influence operations,” the FBI said.

“The objective of these activities can range from portraying a specific image, usually positive, to attempting to sway policymakers into particular courses of action,” the report said.

Additionally, Cuban intelligence seeks to plant disinformation or propaganda through its influence agents, and can task recruits to actively disseminate the data. Once recruited, many of the agents are directed to entering fields that will provide greater information access in the future, mainly within the U.S. government and intelligence community.

Article continues here:  Cuban Targeting