Burn Notice Spy Tips Season 1 Episode 5

Spy Tips on Seeing Through Security, Fake C-4, and more

There’s a good reason covert operatives keep their work a secret from their families. Once your family knows what you do, you’ve got problems. Best case – they’re scared. Worst case – they figure they can get into trouble and you’ll get them out of it.

In gathering intel, little things can tell you a lot. A topflight alarm system. Well-placed cameras without blind spots. Paying attention to strangers in the area. If you know what to look for, a bunch of little things can tell you everything you need to know.

One cheap and effective security measure is working in an area with low or no traffic. Anyone is a car is too obvious, so you force any would-be followers to get out and walk.  

Fighting is something you want to avoid. Once you fight someone, he knows your face.

When you want to turn someone into an asset, get him to betray the people he loves, you have to get to know him. You need to know his frustrations. You need to know how he spends his time and money. You need to understand his hopes and dreams.

C-4 has a plastic sheen and a putty like consistency. If you need to counterfeit it, the best thing I’ve found is cake icing, or fondant, as it is known in the baking trade.

You’d be surprised how often covert operatives pose as international men of mystery. Fantasies about glamorous covert ops can be extremely useful to exploit, though some secret-agent fantasies are more useful than others.

Anybody in the arms trade knows that the mark of a pro is the blow-and-burn. It’s a detonator on whatever you’re selling in case the deal goes bad.

Dealing with a blown cover is about stalling for time. Stay alive long enough to figure out what they know and tell a bigger lie to save yourself.

Riding in a car with a blindfold on takes some getting used to. The good news is, if the driver’s busy making sure you can’t see anything, he’s not paying attention to whether he’s being followed.

Any good operative is going to be a bit of a control freak. Above all, they don’t wanna hear that the people they think they own really belong to someone who can destroy them.

There’s nothing worse for anyone who spent time in intelligence work than being up against a ghost. You can deal with an enemy you know, but an enemy you don’t know? He could be a competitor who knows all about your operation. Could be law enforcement getting ready to bust you. Could be a foreign agent setting you up in some deep spy game. Your only option is to disappear.

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