Spy Tips on International Conferences, Special Forces, and more…
Psychiatrists have nothing on spies when it comes to over-analyzing their friends’ behavior. As a covert operative, you routinely trust your co-workers with your life, so you tend to notice when they start acting strangely.
International conferences are good cover for run-of-the-mill diplomatic spooks and black-bag operatives alike. One way to tell them apart, their luggage. You don’t bring a high-speed-film camera to an event where nobody wants their picture taken unless you want to bypass the X-ray machines at the airport. Telephoto lenses are a great place to store the illegal silencer you’re smuggling in.
Under ideal circumstances, a good interrogation unfolds slowly. But circumstances are not always ideal. If you’re operating on a clock, sometimes you have to get right in your enemy’s face and turn up the heat.
When you’re being hunted in a crowd, your biggest advantage is, your opponents can’t maintain visual contact with each other. The key is to move without drawing attention to yourself. When you can, you disguise your actions as something else. When you can’t, you strike fast and hard.
Spies and politicians tend not to get along very well. Politicians see spies as vitally important n the national interest, right up to the point where they deny ever meeting them and abandon them entirely. It makes for a tough working relationship.
If you need a microphone but you only have a speaker, you don’t have a problem. Both have magnets and coils that conduct sound in roughly the same way. So you can just plug a pair of headphones into a stereo’s auxiliary jack and crank the volume. It’s not quite good enough for karaoke, but you’ll be able to hear even faint noises like the discs in a safe’s locking mechanism clicking into position.
As dangerous as a high-speed chase can be, there’s nothing quite as treacherous as a no-speed chase. If you get pursued into bad traffic, your operating paradigm has to shift. Your car’s no longer being pursued, you are. Just because your car can’t move doesn’t mean you can’t.
Every country emphasizes slightly different tactics with their elite troops. The Chinese Special Forces learn how to shoot with either hand. The German D.S.O. teaches their men to rappel from helicopters. And every Russian Spetsnaz team is trained to siege secure locations by surrounding, advancing, and synchronizing their attack. Their discipline makes them hard to escape but easy to predict. An all-out coordinated breach has its advantages: maximum force, the element of surprise. But there are drawbacks, too. If everyone goes in at once, you can find yourself locked inside before you realize your target has already left.