Born in 1954, the son of a microbiologist teaching at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. Was raised with a deep love for Israel instilled within him. Often vowed to migrate to Israel to live and to aid in fighting against the country’s enemies.
Was educated at Stanford University, graduating with a degree in Political Science in 1976 and enrolled in the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. While in school, Pollard often reveled in telling school mates of his adventures related to his father’s work with the CIA. He often created stories such as this, and even went so far as to enter fabricated information in an application for employment with the U.S. Government. After failing to complete finish his pursuits in graduate school, Pollard took a job with the U.S. Navy Intelligence, working as a research specialist in 1979.
In 1984, was assigned to serve as an analyst for the Naval Investigation Service, given special clearances and access to sensitive materials. Often shared some of this information with confidants and acquaintances.
Was recruited by Rafi Eitan, the head of the Bureau of Scientific Relations and was introduced to Israeli war hero Colonel Aviem “Avi” Sella, who was serving as an Israeli operative under the cover of being a graduate student at New York University. At a meeting in May 1984, Pollard offered to supply Israel with sensitive information in order to help Israel in strengthening its defense systems. He turned over information related to Iraqi chemical weaponry. Another Israeli agent, Yosef Yagur, was assigned as Pollard’s handler.
Pollard turned over thousands of documents to Yagur (he was able, because of his clearance, to simply check the documents out and take them home with him at night). In return, Pollard received $2,500 each month, as well as other gifts (including a diamond and sapphire engagement ring for his fiance, Anne Henderson).
Many of the secrets Pollard turned over were related to weaponry employed by Israel’s enemies, including Iraq. Pollard gathered most of his information by searching Defense Intelligence Agency databases and conducted searches up to three times each week. Often, he provided original documents to his Israeli contacts, allowing them to photocopy them over the weekend, after which they would return them in time for him to return to work on Monday morning.
Eventually, Pollard’s excessive research and requests for data alerted officials at NIS, including his supervisor, Jerry Agee. An investigation found that several highly sensitive documents that he requested were not within his workspace, and thus likely had been removed from the building. The FBI was alerted and began observing him.
On November 18, 1985, Pollard was stopped and questioned by the FBI and NIS security officials. In his possession were several top secret documents. He was questioned repeatedly over the course of the next few days and growing desperate, ran to the Israeli embassy for safety. Followed by FBI surveillance teams, the Pollards were confident that they would find sanctuary within the gates of the embassy, but instead were denied. Demanding political asylum, he was ordered by Israeli security to leaves the embassy grounds. The couple was soon thereafter arrested.
The fallout that Israel had engaged in espionage against the United States was immense. Public outcry and anger caused a backlash against Israel and jeopardized the country’s political and intelligence relationship with the United States. Israel tried to deflect the blame for the activity, claiming it to be a rouge operation.
Pollard cooperated with U.S. officials, but argued that he was not spying against the United States, but rather for Israel, to whom he had a greater allegiance. He also argued that much of his information was basically useless to the Israelis but the prosecutors demonstrated that some of the material was funneled by Soviet moles within the Israeli intelligence system and had compromised hundred of agents and friendlies in the Arab world.
Pollard pled guilty to espionage and was sentenced to life in prison. His wife was sentenced to two lesser crime and received a five year sentence, during which she complained vigorously about her treatment. She was released after three years and promptly divorced Pollard.
After serving more than 30 years in a federal prison, Pollard was paroled on November 20, 2015. Under the terms of his parole he can not leave the United States without permission for five years and is subject to wearing an ankle bracelet monitor. His requests to move to Israel has been denied.
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Born in London in 1889. Spent much of his early life involved with brushes with the law. Was sent to reform school and was sent to live with relatives in Canada after his release.
Work in various jobs but exhibited an immense talent as a gambler. After accumulating vast earnings from his talents his was able to associated with members of high society. At one such affair was introduced to Chinese revolutionary Sun Yet-sen. Yet-sen was leading a revolt against the Manchu dynasty, trying to supplant it with a unified China, complete with western-based democracy. Yet-sen had brokered deals which provided him with sufficient funds to lead the revolution but was having trouble securing arms for fighting.
Cohen suggested that he could fully arm the revolutionaries and was engaged to do so. His success in doing so prompted Yet-sen to bring Cohen in as a trusted advisor after the revolution’s success in 1912. Cohen accepted the invitation and after the end of World War I, traveled to China and was named the Head of Intelligence for Yet-sen in 1922.Established an elaborate counter-espionage system, reporting to Yet-sen events and activities within China as well as Japan. Employed two spies, Isaac Lincoln and Lionel Philip Kenneth Crabb, both of whom were known for the adventurous exploits.
Often engaged in hand to hand combat in beating down insurrection movements against Yet-sen. At all times wore a gun in his shoulder holster and one in a hip holster (thus earning the nickname “Two-Gun) and often led the charge into enemy lines. Devised methods of intelligence gathering, establishing sophisticated networks involving common farmers in various provinces of China as well as foreign diplomats and businessmen. Also, employed various levels of interrogation to extract information from captured enemies, including torture and execution.
After Yet-sun’s death in 1925, Cohen assumed the same role with Chiang Kai-shek, Yet-sun’s successor. Worked vigorously to gather information about the Chinese Communist Party which was gaining a foothold in China. Likewise, obtained information from people close to Japanese military intelligence. Learned that Japanese military intelligence officer Major Ryukichi Tanaka and his mistress Eastern Jewel planned to create a violent disturbance in Shanghai in order to provide Japan with an excuse to attack and invade the city. Warned Kai-shek, but was taken prisoner by the Japanese which in Hong Kong.
Was released by the Japanese after the end of World War II. Upon his return, found that he had been replaced in his position and left China. Eventually returned to Canada where he died in 1970.
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Born in Berlin, Germany in 1907, the daughter of German-Jewish professor and Soviet spy Rene Kuczynski. Brother Jurgen and sister Bridgitte also became Soviet spies.
Became a Communist in 1924 when she became a member of the Communist Youth Movement. Became the head of the German Communist Party’s Propaganda Section.
tes with her father and brother who were engaged in espionage activities for the GRU. Returned to Germany in 1929 and married Rudolph Hamburger, a friend from her childhood.
In 1930, was instructed by Soviet Intelligence to move to Shanghai, China. Her husband, also a Soviet spy was already in Shanghai, under the guise of an architect. Ruth was more important to the GRU than her husband as she operated a major spy ring in China.Became close friends with Agnes Smedley, an American journalist who would ultimately introduce Kuczynski to Soviet agent Richard Sorge. Ruth began an affair with Sorge, often allowing him to use her apartment as a meeting place. Established a cover as a journalist writing for pro-Communist newspapers.
Was ordered back to Moscow for advanced training in 1933. Returned to China six months later, under a new cover as a bookseller. Her actual task was to develop a strong relationship between the GRU and Chines Communists in Manchuria who were fighting against the Japanese.
Worked with a GRU agent whom she knew only as Ernst. Rumored to have engaged in an affair with him and gave birth to a daughter in 1935, believed to be Ernst’s child.
Sent to Peking (now Beijing) in 1935. Chinese intelligence, with the help of Morris “Two Gun” Cohen, did a sweep of suspected spies, arresting Sorge’s replacement. Ruth and her husband escaped with her two daughters. They returned to London and visited her parents (her father was now teaching economics at the London School of Economics).
Was joined in England by Olga “Ollo” Muth, her former nanny from Germany. Muth became a nanny for Ruth’s newborn daughter Nina. Muth, at this point, was unaware of the couple’s espionage activities. Accompanied her husband to Poland where Rudolph would serve as Senior GRU officer.
Was ordered back to Moscow for further training in June 1937. Was also awarded the Order of the Red Banner by the Soviet Union for her espionage activities and then order to Switzerland in 1938 to establish a new spy ring. Stopped first in England to meet with prospective agents, one of whom was Alexander Foote. Foote was further assessed by Brigitte Kuczynski. Foote joined her in Montreuz, Switzerland in 1938 to serve as a radio operator. Moving in with her.
Began operating under the code-name “Sonia.” Merged her burgeoning network with the Lucy spy ring operated by Alexander Rado. Welcomed a new member into her spy ring named Leon Beurton. Began a relationship with Beurton immediately, ending the one with Foote.
Began denouncing the Soviet Union and the principles of Communism after Russia signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany in 1939. Was actually acting on orders from the GRU in order to develop a guise for a deep cover operation planned for her. The GRU wanted to her to live as a British citizen, and thus requested that she marry Foote. Instead she married Beurton in February 1940 (she divorced Hamburger in late 1939). Obtained a British passport soon thereafter and prepared to move to England.
Did not plan to take Ollo with them to England. Ollo, distraught over the prospect of being separated from the children and angry at Sonia and Beurton, informed British authorities of their espionage activities but no one took much note of her claims and failed to follow up on them.
Moved to Liverpool, England in February 1941 and then to Oxford and prepared for her new espionage activities. Was joined by Beurton in the summer of 1942 but he was soon drafted into the British Army. Was assigned to oversee the activities of Klaus Fuchs, the atomic bomb researcher who had provided so much information during his work on the Manhattan project. Fuchs had originally been recruited into the Communist party by Brigitte Kuczynski. Her father had provided aid to her at several points during her activities, as had her brother, who would eventually be made a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army and in a great position to pass information to her.
Was placed under suspicion when he contacts with Fuchs came to light after his arrest. Was also linked to Sir Roger Hollis, former head of MI5, with whom Sonia had become acquainted in Switzerland and China. Speculation held that Sonia had actually recruited Hollis into Soviet control but he vehemently denied even knowing her. Was questioned along with her husband by British agents in 1947 regarding their alleged involvement in espionage activities. Both refused to answer any questions and no further investigation was evident.
Fled to East Germany with her children in 1950 and was joined by Beurton in one year later. Received her second Order of the Red Banner award in 1969 as well as the Order of Karl Marx in 1984. Wrote several books including her autobiography in 1977. Considered by many to be the greatest female spy ever.
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Born in 1893 in Sacramento, California, she was the daughter of wealthy southern parents. She attended high school in Sacramento and then attending Stanford University, graduating in 1917.
Worked as an accountant for a brokerage house run by Lee Dickinson. Velvalee married Lee and both worked servicing Japanese-American truck drivers and farmers. Because of a significant growth in the produce business in the area, Lee Dickinson opened a branch office of his company in 1932. The Dickinsons became acquainted with numerous Japanese diplomatic and military officials and became active in a number of Japanese-American organizations.
The brokerage house failed due to the economic climate of the great depression and the couple was forced to move to New York in 1935. Velvalee took a job selling dolls in Bloomingdale, dolls having been a hobby of hers as a child. In 1938, she opened her own doll shop on Madison Avenue and met with enormous success. Her clientele included famous socialites and movies stars and Velvalee became known as an expert on dolls and their clothing and accessories. In addition to her doll shop, she established a large mail-order business as well.Re-established ties with the Japanese-American community and particularly friendly with the Japanese consul general in New York, Kaname Wakasugi, and Tchira Yokoyoma, the Japanese naval attache for the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. Velvalee joined several Japanese organizations, often attending functions in Japanese attire. Was approached about spying on behalf of Japan and agreed to do so. After the attack on Pearl harbor in December 1941, lost contact with many of her Japanese associates, who were either under surveillance by the U.S. Government or were expelled to Japan.
Traveled with her husband back and forth between the east and west coast of the United States, assessing the strength of various naval stations and vessels within. They were funded by Japanese intelligence and used the cover of looking browsing the west coast for dolls and other antiques to sell.
Used a delivery system for passing coded messages. These letters were sent to Senora Inez Lopez deMalinali, in Buenos Aires, Argentina and were sent, ostensibly from various women in the New York area. Each letter contained fairly innocuous information, often mentioning dolls. The dolls were a code name for a specific warship and the attire or accessories were used indicate its origin (for instance, a doll in a hula skirt would refer to a warship from Hawaii had arrived in California). The contact in Buenos Aires had her cover blown and fled but Japanese intelligence failed to inform Dickinson of this. When the letters were returned to the United States as undeliverable, several of the women who allegedly sent them contacted postal. authorities. The FBI became involved and determined that the alleged “senders” were all clients of Dickinson’s doll shop. The FBI allowed her to continue on, hoping to use her to track others in the spy chain.Lee Dickinson died of a heart attack in March 1943. Authorities finally descended upon her in January 1944 and arrested her at her doll shop, finding a large amount of money in her safety deposit box that could be traced to a Japanese bank in New York. Was indicted on espionage charges and for violating censorship laws. Was convicted for censorship violations and sentenced to 10 years in prison and a $10,000.00 fine and sent to a correctional facility in Alderson, West Virginia. Was paroled in 1951 and disappeared in February 1954. Read More »