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British ex-soldier turned journalist charged with spying in Afghanistan

The Cradle | April 9, 2023

The Afghan government detained three British nationals under suspicion of spying for their country; one of those accused was a former soldier stationed in Afghanistan, now supposedly working as a journalist, according to TOLOnews.

According to a source cited by the news site, the former soldier was stationed in the southern province of Helmand, a deeply contested area of Afghanistan, during the occupation.

“If they come here illegally, or violated the laws of Afghanistan or worked as spies for other countries, it is considered a crime, and any country has the right to detain such foreign nationals and introduce them to the relevant organizations,” said Sarwar Niazai, a military analyst.

The former soldier Kevin Cornwell and another British national were detained by the Taliban-led government on 11 January 2023, both supposedly carrying illegal firearms. A total of three UK citizens are currently detained in Afghanistan.

Toryalai Zazai, a Taliban combat veteran, told the Afghan news channel that “the country should be rescued from the spies, the country should be rescued from the intelligence circles. The Islamic Emirate should not allow these invader countries to send their intelligence representatives to our country.”

Meanwhile, UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman said, “If there are British citizens abroad, then the UK government is going to do whatever it takes to ensure that they are safe,” in response to the arrests.

Journalists around the world face increasing endangerment as the profession has become intertwined with foreign intelligence services to carry out their work.

Operation Mockingbird is perhaps the most well-known activity undertaken by the CIA during the cold war to manipulate news organizations to shape the coverage of events.

In addition, the CIA program aimed to collect intelligence via journalists by either infiltrating news organizations or bribing individuals.

Carl Bernstein unveiled the secret operation by the CIA in 1977, uncovering the depth of the program, which included the recruitment of journalists in various institutions around the world.

Following the damning revelations, the CIA admitted to having recruited at least 400 Journalists and 25 organizations worldwide.

“To this day, the CIA still attempts to monitor and manipulate public opinion through this despicable practice. The so-called truth that underpins a news story, from the perspective of the U.S. government, is not worth mentioning at all, with news media just being used as a tool to safeguard the country’s hegemony in the world,” writes the People’s Daily Online.

Meanwhile, a Russian court charged Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich with espionage on 7 April.

Gershkovich, who denied the charges, said he only maintained journalistic activities in Russia and did not work as a spy for a foreign intelligence service.

The White House commented on the situation, saying it will “do everything we can” to ensure his release.

Evan is not a spy; Evan has never been a spy,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday.

April 9, 2023 - Posted by | Deception | , ,

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