Detailed analysis of the operation to create the kompromat
Producing a kompromat video on someone is similar to any other intelligence operation. The first problem that needs to be solved is Access. The intelligence operative must find someone, or a chain of people, who can provide them access to the target. That is the first objective that will need to be addressed. Once the operative has access, they need to collect the data so it can be exploited later. The exploitation is the ultimate goal of the entire process, but the interesting part for analysis will be the access, cultivation of sources, method and techniques of collection, and how the operatives terminate the operation.
Operations are conducted with different styles and levels of professionalism depending on the support (agency, etc), the skill of the operator, the level of planning that occurred, and attention to detail. There is difficulty in analyzing this entire operation because it was observed by non professionals, and reported to journalists who are not espionage professionals either. The only raw data that would expose the operatives in action, the video, has not been released in full, and is predominantly in languages that I don’t speak. These limitations are not enough to curtail my speculative analysis!
Objective: create kompromat recordings of Strache and Gudenus
Assets: A lawyer who is friends with a long term acquaintance of Gudenus.
Hanz Christian Strache, head of FPÖ
- former neo nazi paramilitary
- trained dental technician
- frequently holidays in Ibiza
Susceptibilities: likes to party, women, greedy for power
Vulnerabilities: drinks, recreational drug use, boastful, no counterintelligence training
Johann Gutenus, ranking leader of FPÖ
- Son of a holocaust denier
- has land for sale
- speaks adequate Russian
- frequently holidays in Ibiza
Susceptibilities: likes to party, money
Vulnerabilities: drinks, recreational drug use, no counterintelligence training
Attractive female who speaks native Russian. Cover: a rich Russian princess with money from illegal dealings who is looking to invest in Austria but can’t use banks for “legal reasons.”
Approach Gutenus through the lawyer’s mutual acquaintance. Offer to buy the land, unconcerned about price (over offer by a significant amount.) Over subsequent meetings reveal the money that needs to be invested. “If only there was someway I could get a good government contact to help me”
Access: Pathway to the objective
- Objective: Hanz Christian Strache
- Link: Johann Gudenes is close friends with Strache
- Susceptibility: Johann Godunes has property for sale
- Link: Julian Thaler is a long term acquaintance of Johann Godunes
- Link: Ramin Mirfakhair is friends with Julian Thaler
- No knowledge of any earlier steps in the path
The pathway to Strache is formed by Mirfakhai to Thaler, Thaler to Godunes, Godunes to Strache. This is a fairly simple series of stepping stones. There are strong social bonds between each link in the chain. Strong links are great to exploit as they are more trusted and more reliable. Every success with one node is a promising start to the next.
On Agents: an explanation on terms and utility
The people that intelligence officers recruit are called agents. Agents have many roles, and also levels of knowledge of their cooperation with the officer. One of the many types of agent is called an Access Agent. Access agents provide access to additional people for the operative to try to recruit.
Agents that know they are working for a Service have various qualifying names attached to them given their level of knowledge and exposure and reliability and so on. We don’t care about them. This operation will require an access agent to provide access to Strache in a private location in a relaxed semi-social context. They’ll have to be a friend.
Friends are not usually willing to compromise their friends, so the operative can’t let on that the person is being used as an access agent. This type of agent is called “unwitting,” they are unaware of their use as an asset. There is little control over unwitting agents because they can’t just be given instructions and then left to get on with it. They have to be guided to where they provide utility to the operative.
This operation will use an “unwitting access agent” to get Strache into a private relaxed semi-social environment where he can be elicited for kompromat by the operative. They need a friend who’ll invite him to discuss business with a trusted business partner. This is the best fit overt situation for the operation, it provides solid cover, and the content of the conversation under technical surveillance will be the clandestine operation.