Spy Tips on Hostage Situations, Wilderness Tactics, and more

There are advantages to training with someone you’re close to. Knowing each other’s moves makes training more effective. But being involved in each others personal lives can also make training a lot more painful.

Meeting a new operative is a lot like going on a blind date. You’re bound to be nervous the first couple of times you do it. But live through a few and you get to be an expert. You should arrive early, prepare an exit strategy, and know you could be in for an ugly surprise.

The cold approach is something you try to avoid in intelligence work. You want to ease into a relationship over time. When that’s impossible, you just have to turn on the charm and hope for the best.

A flash-bang grenade temporarily impairs hearing and vision. It makes fighting back or attempting escape futile and dangerous to civilians. So if you have to shoot blind, it’s better to use a camera than a gun.   Click here to read more…

Spy Tips on Locating Spies, Posing as I.T., and more

Nobody wants to hear from a burned spy. Your old handler’s sends your calls straight to voicemail and your old contacts are worthless. Your best bet is to find an active field operative who can’t hang up on you. If you’re on domestic soil, the airport’s not a bad place to look. Intelligence agencies are like amateur magicians. Watch closely and you can see how they set up their tricks. It doesn’t matter how good they are at misdirection and sleight of hand, they can’t make a covert-ops supply plane disappear. (Stake out the airport, look for a plane that is not on the rooster and has clearance from the tower)

When you get cornered, there’s a rush of adrenaline as the fight-or-flight response kicks in. In those moments, you can’t listen to your body. There are some circumstances when flight just isn’t the right option. Fortunately, with a little training and the right kind of hitch knot, all that adrenaline can make you capable of something pretty close to flight. (Hanging outside a window on a piece of rope while guards search the room)

There are times in any spy’s career when someone figures out who you are. Usually the best approach is to just put on a good poker face and deny everything.

A money launderer’s natural habitat is near rich people. What they save by avoiding taxes, they usually spend of over priced drinks, but meeting with them is never boring.   Click here to read more…

Spy Tips on Placing a Bug, Cops, and more

In any operation, whether it’s sneaking into an embassy or collecting debts for a bookie, it’s important to lay out a plan before you go into action. If you’re going to disagree, it’s best to get it out of the way before any shots are fired.

For many operations, two man teams are ideal, simple chain of command, easy to delegate responsibility, and little room for confusion. Of course with a two man team, there’s not a lot of margin for error.

When you’re being followed by the police, it’s important to remember that having cops around is a problem for criminals. But it’s an even bigger problem for a detective trying to remain inconspicuous on a stakeout.

In any sort of operation, flirtation is always a tactical option. Romance is a powerful force, and under the right circumstances, it can achieve your objective.   Click here to read more…

Spy Tips on Bluetooth, Sympathy, Parking Garages, and more

Whether you’re dealing with the presidential guard in Belarus, the federal security service in Russia, or the local police in Miami, the drill is pretty much the same, keep your place clean of damning evidence. Keep your alibis and your whereabouts straight, and always be ready for surprise visits.

The lone spy who always works solo is a myth. The truth is, you don’t last long without keeping a few friends around, because your enemies will find you on their own.

Your first priority when you’re captured is to make it clear that your cooperation isn’t free. Your captor gets what he wants if you get what you want. In any healthy relationship, there needs to be some give and take.

Spies are trained to use whatever resources are available. In the hills of Afghanistan, the best you can hope for are rocks and some scrub brush. In an office building, you may have more options.   Click here to read more…

Spy Tips on Interrogation, Tailing, Urban Warfare, and more

Whether you’re hunting down extremists in the mountains of Kashmir or tracking arms dealers through the streets of Moscow, the life of a spy takes a toll. So during downtimes, you work out, eat right, and try to recharge your batteries, because you never know what’s waiting for you around the next corner.

Smart criminals have a variety of ways to find out if a meeting is under police surveillance. Some are more subtle than others. Throw a few punches and any cops in the area have to come running.

Behavior in a combat situation is unpredictable. Sometimes trained soldiers go screaming for the hills. Sometimes guys who have never fired anything bigger than a cap gun turn out to have ice in their veins.   Click here to read more…

Spy Tips on High Security, Covers, Fair Fights, and more

Danger isn’t always obvious. It can be as subtle as a glance from a friendly seeming tourist, a car that slows down at an odd time, or a cop that suddenly seems a little too interested in you

The backbone of most hotel phone systems is secured by nothing more than a door and a cheap lock, which makes them convenient for people who need to make quick, untraceable phone calls.

Just because you can escape from a situation doesn’t mean you should. It’s a risk / reward thing. Sometimes you have to take your chances. Sometimes you have to remember, it’s easier to dodge questions than bullets.

As a spy, you expect to get locked up from time to time. If you’re on the job, you just keep busy until someone negotiates your release. If you’re working alone, you may have to get used to steel bars and baked beans.

In the highest security places, uniforms are for show. The real security doesn’t announce itself with anything but wary looks and shirts loose enough to hide a gun.   Click here to read more…