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World’s Greatest Spy Capers

World’s Greatest Spy Capers

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Published by Ali Bukhari
World’s Greatest Spy Capers
World’s Greatest Spy Capers

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Published by: Ali Bukhari on Mar 14, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 World’s Greatest Spy CapersNewsweek OnlineThe Hollow Nickel Case
Rudolph Abel, convicted of running the spy ring. Top right: A hidden message. Bottom right: A hollow nickel.
Perpetrator: U.S.S.R.Target: U.S.A.
On June 22, 1953, a
 Brooklyn Eagle
delivery boy named Jimmy was making the roundsin Brooklyn to collect payments for his newspaper when he was handed a suspiciously lightweight coin. When he accidentally dropped it on the floor outside, it broke, revealinga microfilm of a series of numbers. He passed it on to a friend, who gave it to a cop, whothen gave it to the FBI. But since the woman who had handed him the coin was equally surprised by the finding (she was an unwitting conduit), it wasn’t until four years laterthat authorities got any closer to solving the mystery. As it turns out, the delivery boy had stumbled upon an extensive communication network used by the KGB in the UnitedStates, consisting of hollowed-out coins, pens, brushes, bolts, and various other tiny  vessels. Only when a KGB officer defected to the U.S. Embassy in Paris in 1957 did Americans begin to crack the code and make arrests.
 Page 1 of 16 
 World’s Greatest Spy CapersNewsweek OnlineOPERATION TP-AJAX (1953)
Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, right, sits with U.S. Ambassador Loy Henderson in 1951,two years before the CIA orchestrated his overthrow.
Perpetrators: U.K., U.S.A.Target: Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh
 With hindsight, all the snags in Iran’s Western-backed 1953 coup probably suggested it wouldn’tend well. In 1952, British intelligence officials contacted the CIA about the prospect of a coup,disapproving of the leadership of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh and his plans tonationalize the country’s oil industry, which had previously been under British control. The plan was for Iranian Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi to issue a decree dismissing Mossadegh andreplacing him with a royalist general, Fazlollah Zahedi. But the shah proved an unenthusiastic co-conspirator, wary of losing his throne and his own popularity. After months of cajoling (and apower grab by Mossadegh), he assented.To set the stage, the CIA launched an anti-communist propaganda campaign against Mossadegh,including planted newspaper reports, bribes, street demonstrations, and even the bombing of acleric’s home to break the prime minister’s coalition with Iran’s religious community. (It managedto dupe NEWSWEEK into running one of those planted stories.) Finally, on the night of Aug. 15,1953, pro-shah soldiers fanned out across Tehran, snipping phone lines, arresting top Mossadeghofficials, and stirring up anti-Mossadegh demonstrations. But they were unable to grabMossadegh himself, who had been warned about TP-Ajax, as the mission was dubbed. The nextmorning there was no certain government—and also no shah, who had fled to Baghdad and thenRome amid the chaos.But just when the operation seemed an utter flop, royalist officers took control of the radio and whipped up even more fervid street demonstrations, suddenly shifting the national mood againstMossadegh, paving the way for the coup’s success and leaving 300 demonstrators dead in theprocess. Zahedi, who had been hiding just outside Tehran, was brought into the city to assumeleadership, while Mossadegh and the rest of his supporters were rounded up; 22 were laterexecuted, including the foreign minister. The following day the CIA wired $5 million to the new regime. The CIA’s first-ever attempt at regime change was deemed so successful that it became apopular policy option, pulled out again the following year in Guatemala. But as the full extent of CIA involvement leaked out, the unequivocal victory for American spies began to seem awfully shallow. It created a friendly regime but also a half century of fierce anti-American and anti-British animosity among ordinary Iranians.
 Page 2 of 16 
 World’s Greatest Spy CapersNewsweek OnlineOPERATION SUSANNAH (1954)
Pinhas Lavon, Israel's minister of defense, was forced from office by the ill-fatedOperation Susannah attacks in 1955. He claimed he was framed by political opponentswithin Israel.
Perpetrator: IsraelTarget: Egypt
On July 2, 1954, a firebomb rattled a post office in Alexandria, Egypt. The following week, bombs tore through a British theater and the U.S. Information Agency libraries inCairo and Alexandria. As it turned out, they were surreptitiously carried out by Israel, which named the plot Operation Susannah. The idea was to blame the attacks on localinsurgents, which would make Egypt look too unstable for British troops to withdraw from the Suez Canal inside two years, as planned. But Egyptian authorities traced the bombings back to nine Egyptian Jews who had been recruited by Israeli military intelligence to target sites frequented by Westerners. After confessing in public trials,two were hanged, one committed suicide, and the other six were jailed for more than adecade, ignored by Israel in multiple prisoner exchanges. The debacle became known asthe Lavon Affair after Israeli Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon, who, while denyinginvolvement, quit after the plot became public.
 Page 3 of 16 

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