Intelligence: Iran Sort Of Scores Big, Maybe


June 8, 2009: In Germany, an Iranian born Canadian citizen was convicted to smuggling ballistic missile components to Iran, and was sentenced to three years in prison. The Germans aren't releasing many details, because the smuggler had long been one of their prime spies in Iran. The spy, code named Sinbad, worked for German intelligence for over a decade, and was paid more than $1.4 million for the information is delivered. In that time, the Germans received lots of good (later verified) data on Iranian weapons projects via Sinbad.

The Germans apparently believe that Sinbad was really their spy, and simply got into the smuggling because the money was too good to resist. Other Western intel officials believe Sinbad was actually working for Iranian intelligence, and was simply feeding the Germans what they wanted to see. But the Germans are taking no chances, and are shipping Sinbad off to a third country to serve his sentence in secret. Apparently, the Germans believe that if they don't protect Sinbad from the wrath of Iranian counter-intelligence (which, in the past, has killed Iranians it caught spying for the West), they will have a harder time in the future recruiting others to spy inside Iran.

Sinbad's smuggling activities explain how Sinbad was able to get access to such useful documents and photos of Iranian weapons projects. Sinbad had always told his German handlers that he simply had a lot of good contacts inside Iran.


Article Archive

Intelligence: Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close