Notes on Recruitment of Agents’ Networks
RECRUITMENT OF AGENTS’ NETWORK
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Table of Contents
Notes on Recruitment of Agents’ Network:
Agents have to be ideologically trained and taught conspiracy as well as how to conduct themselves properly in work, society, and life.
Agents have to be constantly recruited because some drop out naturally or are removed for cause. Their motives and capacity for getting intelligence have to be studied.
Failure to prepare recruitment sufficiently can lead to worsening relations with capitalist countries, exposure of the intelligence agent and recruit and cause harm to intelligence.
It’s hard for socialist intelligence agencies to recruit citizens of capitalist countries so they have to influence their world view, ensure their discipline.
Intelligence operations aren’t just about gathering information but about disrupting hostile plans of the enemy, intercepting the sabotage of socialist countries and actively influencing the life of capitalist states to the advantage of socialist countries.
Recruiters should target places where government’s political line is developed and where most secret political documents are located, such as cabinet of ministers, foreign ministry, leaders of political parties, major monopolies, especially as related to socialist countries.
Also science and technology are a target, especially nuclear warheads for intercontinental missiles and innovative technology, new models of production.
Penetration of the enemy’s intelligence and counter-intelligence agencies is one of the most important but also most difficult jobs.
A priority is influence of political and economic life of capitalist countries; need to acquire agents who can conduct political actions useful to socialist countries.
2. Recruitment contingent
Two tendencies in the world – 1) rapid economic growth of socialist countries and improvement of their populations’ welfare and success in the fight for peace; 2) reaction, economic and political instability of capitalist countries, impoverishment of workers, sabotage of peace colonial wars, worsening of contradictions.
Therefore, socialist countries are getting millions of sympathizers who are a broad contingent for recruitment by socialist countries.
Some openly fight capitalism and have progressive views; others fear losing their government or factory jobs but have anti-imperialist sentiments.
Hundreds of millions of people see now that capitalism leads to economic anarchy and periodic crises, unemployment and poverty, wars, so opposition is growing in government, military, science.
The peace movement has more and more people of various classes, social groups, parties, unions, including world-renowned scientists, engineers, doctors, business people, religious figures, petty bourgeois etc.
Some of these participants in the peace movement can be brought into intelligence work. But each recruit has to be studied carefully as his open opposition may be more useful in fighting the capitalist world than his work as an intelligence agent.
Hundreds of millions are also involved in the national liberation movements in Asia, Africa and Latin America. While they may not be for a socialist system per se, they’re against imperialism.
Contingents for recruitment: coders, secretaries, stenographers, couriers, typists, etc. with access to classified materials.
Also many emigres from the socialist countries in US, Canada, Latin America who can be used, and they have relatives at home.
Many people with materials needs in capitalist countries even if employed.
There’s an ebb and flow of available contingents depending on circumstances; social countries become more powerful and influential and this has an impact.
But certain failures and mistakes in socialist countries including intelligence failures as well as anti-socialist propaganda can have a negative impact.
Police oppression and other negative factors in capitalist countries can reduce the contingent due to fear but also induce outrage which can be used. There is increasing repression against communist parties and progressive organizations. Socializing with people from socialist countries is viewed as sabotage and can even lead to arrest.
Very difficult conditions for recruitment in capitalist countries, but existing rezidentura and illegals network can help. Ultimately, proper methods of recruitment and management required.
Eligibility for recruitment determined by age, sex, ethnicity, religion, social, material and family status; also the person’s temperament. Gradual involvement may work for one recruit, and direct offers of secret collaboration work better for another.
Above all, the actual possibilities for intelligence work has to be studied for recruits and their ability to penetrate facilities.
An ideal example: bureaucrat in foreign affairs ministry with access to coded telegrams. If he is devoted to capitalism, he’s not a good prospect, but if he hates the capitalist system and thinks it will be replaced by socialism, or at least is unsure about the stability of capitalism, he’s a good candidate. Another prospect would be one with debts if these can be taken care of for him.
Very important to understand recruit’s political views before recruiting, which can be hard as progressives hide their views to avoid arrest or loss of prestige or trust in society or their family.
Also have to determine if he is decisive, bold, smart, etc.
Use legal methods first to study prospect, and use his associates and connections. Existing covert agents and central intelligence office can also have information. Recruiter would study a political party’s information and members for example, and then contrive to meet them at a film showing. For example, “Lauer,” who wants to increase friendly relations with the Soviet Union but hides his views in his party so as not to lose his position. He was recruited also because of his anti-American views.
Citizens of socialist countries are restricted in their movements in the capitalist countries and are under surveillance which makes the role of the agents’ network more important.
The recruiters shouldn’t reveal to their agent their interest in a subject for which they have a lead but just get a list of his friends, a characterization, etc. This is especially important in the early stages of recruitment until he is vetted.
Case: An intelligence operative had to make an agents’ network in diplomatic circles but had no connections except one former, elderly journalist who had no ties to the diplomatic world. But since the journalist had once published a small journal edited by a prominent Frenchman, the operative made an approach to the Frenchman and asked if he wanted to edit a diplomatic journal. The journalist and French editor were then given the journal to put out and in six weeks all embassies and missions had copies as well as local aristocrats. Once the Frenchman had business cards printed with his title as editor, he had an entree into the embassies to get leads for recruits.
Recruiters have to be careful not to damage leaders of progressive organizations who would be compromised by exposure of their collaboration; they shouldn’t recruit members of communist and workers parties because it endangers those parties as a whole; experience of recent years indicates the imperialists will make direct provocations in these cases and thus obtain the formal right to persecute these parties.
3. Study and vetting of leads
Leads given by existing agents have to be double checked and additional info gathered to avoid ballast and harmful agents, using open sources and personal contacts. The agent’s network shouldn’t know about the recruitment intentions, although sometimes exceptions have to be made. Surveillance and bugs should be used to determine family and material situation. Information obtained has to be verified with Moscow center.
The target shouldn’t know he’s being studied so approach has to seem natural, i.e. through receptions, sports events, fishing etc.
For socialist countries’ emigres, use recommendation letters from their relatives, friends, etc. and ask for help in buying a home, meeting the right people, etc.; a relative might say the agent making the approach saved his life or helped him financially. Illegals have more freedom of movement and less likely to be followed; legals can use their official position on the other hand.
4. Vigilance and conspiracy
Watch out for plants and set-ups and beware of surveillance; don’t let enemy’s counterintelligence detect you; check with Moscow center.
Example of how checking with Center enabled detection of a plant, “Hopper,” an editor and publisher of a bourgeois journal who was friendly to the USSR and critical of American foreign policy. He hinted that he could provide help to the Soviets. Approach was made at a Hungarian mission reception, and he agreed to meet at the Soviet embassy; at the meeting expressed his support for Soviets and indignation at a parliamentarian who supposedly had created a reactionary organization. Hopper said he could get intel on the organization and intelligence operative approved this. Hopper came back without warning with a report on the group and said he would join it to get more intel. The operative checked with Moscow and found there was kompromat on Hopper exposing him as an agent of German intelligence who had spied against the Soviets since 1933. He was instructed to break off politely with Hopper using an excuse.
When a target himself offers cooperation he always has to be checked, even if recommended by an agent, who may be unaware of a provocation.
Another case: a rezident was instructed to recruit agents within a foreign ministry, this task was given to an intelligence operative who had an agent called Mars who worked in the foreign ministry; Mars was tasked to find recruits through his connections. He provided a report of a deputy foreign minister (Sax) who was removed from his post thanks to the British because he was supposedly too close to nationalists who were anti-British. Sax was described as having collaborated with British intelligence and advanced his career for this reason; Sax could be talent for the Soviets because of his connections. But the recruiter failed to take into account that the British might obstruct him further. Sax was recruited and gave the Soviets a list of people connected to British intelligence; among them was Leon, a vetted agent. This caused the Soviets to suspect Sax and ultimately they discovered his removal was faked by British intelligence as a dangle. They planted a document on Mars then. The Soviet intelligence operatives should have wondered why the British were so harsh with supposedly their own creatures.
Chapter 3 – Recruitment Process
The targets material as well as spiritual needs are studied; there are three types of work — ideological-political, material, and psychological. The threat of exposure is part of the psychological line and could affect the material. Emotions such as jealousy, love, hatred are also used.
1) Ideological-political basis
This has to do whether his political views coincide with the interests of the socialist camp, and whether they are firm enough to serve as motives.
Even if they are ideologically compatible, citizens of capitalist countries may not want to collaborate with intelligence of socialist countries as practice has taught — far from it. They may have a false understanding of its role; a sense of patriotism to their homeland; and a fear of being exposed. But sometimes the idea of just “peaceful coexistence” is enough.
Sometimes the candidate has to be drawn in with further ideological work, i.e. explaining how the capitalist countries are exploiting his country and about the peace-loving nature of the socialist countries. The candidate will come to understand that he can’t stay on the sidelines given American imperialist expansionism.
A Soviet agent called Sufrant had a connection called Shmidt who was a major mathematician and engineer and head designer at an artillery factory, and an emigrant. He had several sisters still in the Soviet Union with whom he had lost contact after emigration, wasn’t involved in politics, and hated communism.
An approach was made to have Sufrant convince Shmidt to meet an officer of a Soviet trade agency. It was determined that while he feared communism he hated the Germans due to their militarism and this was used as a basis to work on him to explain the peace-loving foreign policy of the socialist countries. Later, Shmidt then turned to him to help find his sister to get her assistance which strengthened their ties. He was worked on, came to see the error of his ways, and became convinced that he had to fight imperialism if he wanted to oppose German militarism. He then agreed to pass on a type of ammunition he had designed and then continued to work in Soviet interests.
Illegals should only try to recruit those that are ideologically compatible that they’re sure of and ideally in third countries to reduce risk as they must expose themselves as intelligence operatives.
Intelligence officers can then make a trip from the Center to vet the recruit. Ideologically compatible are more reliable.
b) Material basis
Look for strong motivation to be recruited like illness, debts, illness in the family, large family, education for children, securing pension, etc. Look for merchants who want to make a profit in socialist countries; government officials willing to sell their country’s secrets due to material needs. The person raised in a bourgeois country will need to have personal success as his chief goal in life, not the join work of people; especially Americans. The sociologist Robert Merton says success is understood as getting money, which is rooted in American culture; sociologist Ch. Right Miles says money is the only indisputable metric for success. More Americans have been recruited on the basis of material incentive than those from other countries.
But such agents aren’t as reliable as those recruited on ideological grounds; therefor they need constant ideological education. Especially recruitable are those who like to party excessively and get into debts as a result.
Case of a coder in an American embassy in a capitalist country named Fin who was courting Nona, the daughter of a famous doctor, who wasn’t interested in him. Fin was loyal to the US regime but was vain, loved to dress well. Nona was part of the peace movement, was sociable, liked to go out to restaurants and clubs; Grom, an experienced agent of the rezidentura knew Nona’s father.
With Grom’s help, Nona was recruited and then Fin was drawn in, using the acquaintance with the father. Nona was assigned to draw in Fin by going out to restaurants and theaters with him and getting him to spend money so he needed cash; she gave him loans. Fin was eventually recruited in order to pay his debts.
c) Moral-psychological basis
Use features such as vanity, envy, jealousy, vengeance, obsession, sympathies, love, hate etc. to recruit people. Don’t go by socialist morality but the morality of the bourgeois country. For example in Iran, it is not shameful to have multiple wives and in some Western countries, sexual immorality is ignored, and the porn industry facilitates this.
While theft is viewed as wrong in socialist societies, a theft of a million in a capitalist society like the US is viewed as big business.
Case of journalist agent Claude who was given the assignment to become acquainted with a young single woman Zhanna who was a secretary to an ambassador and study her for recruitment. He seduced her, went to dances and restaurants with her; she fell in love with him and Claude began to see her less; she was hurt but he said while he loved her his journalism career was suffering. He hinted that if she would show him material that crossed her desk, he could meet with her more often.
Sometimes Soviet intelligence uses the threat of exposure to recruit people who have been compromised. The recruiter should appear to offer help to the recruit to get out of a bad situation rather than directly pressuring him. Theft of funds, extramarital affairs, etc. can compromise the target as can exposure of participation in plots to overthrow bourgeois governments. You can only compromise a person if he hides these facts and fears their publicity. Kompromat has to be backed up with documentation, photos, etc. i.e. someone with an affair. Getting such documentation can be very complicated. A person recruited with kompromat cannot be viewed as reliable especially if hostile to socialist countries.
Case of a female agent planted with a diplomat in a capitalist country; she obtained his trust to the point where she could read his correspondence and get the key to his safe. Knowing the diplomat was cowardly, he was recruited by showing that his secret documents had been taken from his safe, to compromise him. In order to save his career, he agreed to collaborate. This doesn’t work, as there are cases where a target agrees to cooperate and then backs out and reports the recruitment to his counter-intelligence.