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A double agent, or double secret agent, is a counterintelligence term used to designate an employee of a secret service or organization, whose primary aim is to spy on a different target organization, but who in fact is a member of that same target organization themselves.

Double agentry may be practiced by spies of the target organization who infiltrate the controlling organization, or may result from the turning (switching sides) of previously loyal agents of the controlling organization by the target. The threat of execution is the most common method of turning a captured agent (working for an intelligence service) into a double agent (working for a foreign intelligence service) or a double agent into a re-doubled agent. It is unlike a defector, who is not considered an agent as agents are in place to function for an intelligence service and defectors are not, but some consider that defectors in place are agents until they have defected.

Double agents are often used to transmit disinformation or to identify other agents as part of counter-espionage operations. They are often very trusted by the controlling organization since the target organization will give them true, but useless or even counterproductive, information to pass along.

Double agents[edit]

Some people listed here are not true double agents (as defined above), but rather (single) agents working as a mole within an intelligence organization.

Pre-twentieth century[edit]

World War I[edit]

  • Mata Hari (stage name for Margaretha Geertruida "Grietje" Zelle)

World War II[edit]

Cold War[edit]

Ireland[edit]

  • Denis Donaldson, infiltrated the Sinn Féin on behalf the British government. He was found dead in his cottage after a Northern Ireland newspaper revealed this.
  • Kevin Fulton (real name Peter Keeley), infiltrated the IRA for British Intelligence. He was allegedly betrayed by his employers and nearly sacrificed to cement Stakeknife's cover in the IRA (see below).
  • Freddie Scappaticci ("Stakeknife"), infiltrated the IRA for British Intelligence. Allegedly, the British government ordered him to expose Fulton to increase his own standing in the IRA.
  • Robert Nairac, British Military Intelligence agent who sometimes went undercover in the IRA. Killed in 1977.

Other[edit]

  • April Fool, allegedly an American officer who provided false information to Saddam Hussein.
  • Iyman Faris, worked for the FBI, but was loyal to Al-Qaeda.
  • Mikel Lejarza ("El Lobo"), Spanish agent working for the Basque separatist ETA.
  • Katrina Leung, worked for both China and the FBI.
  • Ashraf Marwan, an Egyptian businessman and an alleged spy for Israel, or possibly an Egyptian double agent. Managed to become celebrated as a hero in each country for his alleged work against the other.

Re-doubled agent[edit]

A re-doubled agent is an agent who gets caught as a double agent and is forced to mislead the foreign intelligence service.

F. M. Begoum describes the redoubled agent as "one whose duplicity in doubling for another service has been detected by his original sponsor and who has been persuaded to reverse his affections again".[1]

Triple agent[edit]

A triple agent pretends to be a double agent for one side, while he or she is truly a double agent for the other side. Famous triple agents include Eddie Chapman, Kim Philby and Alexander Litvinenko.

A lesser used definition of triple agent is an agent who works for three intelligence services, but is usually truly loyal to only one of them.

Events in which double agents played an important role[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Begoum, F.M. "Observations on the Double Agent". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_agent — Please support Wikipedia.
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CleanTechnica
Tue, 08 Apr 2014 05:04:57 -0700

Nat Kreamer Not long ago, I wrote about Clean Power Finance and its President and CEO Nat Kreamer. At the time, Kreamer — a former military man — appeared to be serving as a “double agent,” playing both sides of the monopoly utilities' crusade ...

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Tue, 08 Apr 2014 08:31:04 -0700

Double Agent's Obamacare Sabotage. By Eli Clifton · Salon.com; April 8, 2014. New documents reveal a drug lobby's president posed as the ACA's savior — then pumped cash to ALEC in an effort to kill it. Email · Contact us · Print · Share. In ...

Al-Arabiya

Al-Arabiya
Thu, 03 Apr 2014 03:38:23 -0700

The celebrity, who has a Syria father and Ukrainian mother, will be playing the role of a Russian-Syrian double agent on a mission in the United States, she told Nawa3em website. Jenny Esper comes from a Syrian father and a Ukrainian mother. (Photo ...

Comicbook.com (blog)

Comicbook.com (blog)
Tue, 08 Apr 2014 18:13:36 -0700

If Ward is playing double agent, Hand's fate, in my mind, depends on whether he's doing it on Coulson's orders or not. We never see any direct confirmation from Garrett that Ward was his man all along, so it's possible that his sudden killing of Hand ...

Cinema Blend

Cinema Blend
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:50:24 -0700

Some may still be hanging on to hope that Ward is a double agent or a triple agent or something. Tonight, Ward killed more S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, handed off a flash drive full of secret Coulson info to Raina (after helping her escape her jail cell) and ...

New York Daily News

moviepilot.com
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 04:37:30 -0700

In conclusion "The Only Light in the Darkness" is good episode and has a lot of interesting points like Ward's double agent status almost getting compromised while hanging with Skye, Coulson's history with the cellist lady and having May leave the team.

The Guardian

The Guardian
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 08:00:37 -0700

Nor is it just the Jennings who have secret lives: Stan's marriage is disintegrating and he's having an affair with enigmatic KGB double agent Nina. Such are the levels of intrigue, there's hardly a line of dialogue that doesn't have a double or triple ...

The Daily Star

The Daily Star
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:00:00 -0700

In the murky world of the spy, however, the French suspected her of being a double agent. In February 1917 Mata Hari returned to Paris and was immediately arrested, charged with being a German spy. Her trial in July revealed some damning evidence that ...
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