Spy Tips on Sabotage Dealing with Liars, Easy Targets, and more
When you need to locate a foreign spy office, it’s all about the food. Spies like home cooking just like everyone else. Find out who serves their regional delicacies. Tip the bartenders and delivery boys well, and they’ll usually tell you who placed the big orders on the last national holiday. If some of these orders head to an office with tight security and scowling workers with short haircuts, you’re in business.
Easy Target- Low on the totem pole at work, short on cash, bad divorce.
Playing on people’s loyalties is an art, especially when those loyalties can be murky and malleable. Poke around too much and you’ll look suspicious. Sometimes your best move is just to commit. Of course, commit too hard to the wrong side, and there’s not much wiggle room. Instead of an instant ally, you’ve just made an instant enemy.
When you’re conducting surveillance from a dusty cave in Afghanistan, you daydream about air-conditioning, swimming pools, and iced tea. But spend a little time waiting for a socialite to hand off her tiny dog to a canine beautician, and that Afghan cave looks a little better.
Recruiting an asset is about making your target feel important. Everything from the clothes you wear to the location of the meeting should communicate how vital the mission is. Wear the right outfit, pick the right deserted bar, and your target will be ready to engage.
Some assets work for money. Others believe in a cause. The most effective incentive, though, is a combination of the two.
If you’re dealing with a trained operative, there are hundreds of places to hunt for documents. If you’re searching a desk jockey’s office, it’s a far shorter list. Before you can say “in the cabinet,” “behind the bookshelf,” or “under the desk,” you’ve usually found what you’re looking for.
Spies are trained to keep track of multiple conversations at the same time. Standing alone as you eavesdrop is too obvious. You need to engage in a cover conversation near your target.
Pure lip-reading takes years to master. But confirming what you’re hearing by checking lips is a much easier skill to pick up.
It doesn’t take long working in combat situations before you start paying a lot of attention to little things. Things that don’t feel right, like an open gate or a pampered dog running around loose often lead to much bigger things. Of course, knowing something’s wrong and being able to do something about it are two different things. Sometimes the damage is already done.
When dealing with a pathological liar, don’t bother looking for signs of a guilty conscience. True deceivers enjoy the lie. They know how to look you dead in the eye and usually shed a few tears on demand. So if you want to know when they’re lying, look for the little smile that comes when deceiving a roomful of people.
When you make an approach as a spy, you need to choose a role that puts you in the center of the action and explains why no one’s ever heard of you before. Claiming to be a criminal can kill two birds with one stone. You throw around some names and places and dates to confuse them, show them some account books to make it sound credible, and make the dollar figures big enough to play to their greed.
Contact microphones pick up sound vibrations through walls allowing you to eavesdrop on conversations. Pair one with a wireless transmitter, and you have a bugging device that doesn’t need to be in the same room as your target.
Of course, bugging a room from the outside makes it impossible to see potential pitfalls. Just as a cellphone reacts when it’s placed too close to your alarm clock, a roomful of speakers can create radio-frequency interference if you’re spying on someone with a wireless signal.
Law-enforcement cover I.D.s are tricky. Pose as a lead detective, and you’ll have unlimited access, but a single call to the station, and you’re caught. You need to think smaller. Nobody questions the credentials of a lowly crime-scene investigator.
It’s tough to get someone to compromise their values in only a couple of meetings. The only way to do that is to compromise a few values of your own.
One of the many weapons in the spy arsenal is sabotage. Your enemy can’t fight back when their vehicles won’t drive and their weapons won’t fire. If you’re handing a bad guy a gun and you need it to jam accidentally, fatiguing the trigger assembly to break under pressure is probably your best move. It’s undetectable, so nobody gets suspicious and nobody gets hurt.