SA spies run for cover - report

2015-03-01 07:28
(File: Al Jazeera)

(File: Al Jazeera)

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City Press

Johannesburg - Within hours of Al Jazeera releasing the first reports about the leaked so-called spy cables, South Africa’s State Security Agency (SSA) sent a chartered jet to “extract” at least four senior intelligence agents from their posts in Africa.

A source in the SSA told City Press one agent was based in Cameroon and the other three were elsewhere on the continent.

A second source confirmed “at least four” agents were “extracted” within hours of the spy cables being released by the television network, which is based in Qatar.

“The guys were contacted early on Monday and told to be ready to be extracted. It happened very fast,” a source close to the SSA said.

Cover blown

“The leaks caused chaos in the SSA, and especially among the agents abroad. Some of the guys have been building and living their legends for years and years.

“Their cover is now blown. People within governments will be able to work out who the South African agents are. These operatives have been doing their work and now they’re compromised … It’s a gigantic f**k-up,” a former spy close to SSA told City Press.

An investigation by SSA operatives and crime intelligence agents to find the source of the leak is now under way.

This week, Al Jazeera’s investigative unit released hundreds of pages of secret intelligence documents written by the SSA and foreign intelligence services, including Britain’s MI6, Israel’s Mossad, Russia’s Federal Security Service and intelligence agents from South Korea.

The cables revealed how intelligence was shared between the SSA and international intelligence agencies, including the CIA in the US.


On Saturday, SSA spokesperson Brian Dube said: “The allegations of a withdrawal of foreign-based operatives from their postings is without basis and is strongly dismissed as yet another attempt at information peddling.

“We will not be drawn into speculation about those who might be behind the purported leak and their motives. The minister is on record indicating that a full investigation is under way.”

However, intelligence sources told City Press this week that the leak was believed to have come from inside the SSA.

- See the full report here.

- For more on the spy cables, click here or visit Al Jazeera.

Read more on:    ssa  |  spy cables

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