Back to the top
C3I / C4I - Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence - Command and Control refers to the ability of the military commander to direct and coordinate his forces. Communications are required to enable this coordination. Intelligence is the knowledge relevant to the coordination of forces. Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance are methods of obtaining intelligence. Tends to be known as C4I when computers are added to the mix.
CALL-UP - A police term meaning a situation where a SWAT team has deployed.
CAIRNCROSS, John - Spy
CAMBRIDGE FIVE / CAMBRIDGE FOUR / CAMBRIDGE SPY RING - UK spy ring that passed information to the Soviets during World War II until the early 1950s. Four members of the ring were originally identified: Kim Philby (cryptonym: Stanley), Donald Duart Maclean (cryptonym: Homer), Guy Burgess (cryptonym: Hicks) and Anthony Blunt (cryptonyms: Tony, Johnson). The number of spies increased to five upon further investigation with the discovery of John Cairncross (cryptonym: Liszt) and some others, lesser players.
CAM-CAR - A vehicle equipped with a concealed camera used for clandestine casing and surveillance operations.
CAMP SWAMPY - CIA's secret domestic training base (also known as "The Farm"
CAMP X - Canada's WWII secret domestic training base associated with the MI6.
CANARY TRAP - A canary trap is a method for exposing an information leak, that involves giving different versions of sensitive information to each of a group of suspects and seeing which version gets leaked.
CANNON - A thief who steals back the inducement offered by the spies to an informant, defector or turncoat. Probably borrowed from sports, as in a billiard shot that strike two balls with the cue ball.
CARABINIERI - Italy's federal anti-terrorist police.
CARNIVORE - computer program designed by the FBI to collect electronic communications from a specific user targeted in an investigation.
CASE OFFICER - staff officer of an intelligence agency, also called an OPERATIONS OFFICER, AGENT HANDLER or CONTROLLER.
CASUALS - Casual observers to a surveillance exercise; nonparticipants visible in the area.
CBI - India's security service.
CENTER - Moscow headquarters of the KGB.
CELLAR (THE) - The room in the cellar of Lubyanka Prison where Russian intelligence executed traitors prior to WWII. Underground corridors are rumored to have connected the Cellar to an industrial sized meat grinder connected to the Moscow sewers to get rid of the bodies.
CHAMBERS, Whittaker - Spy
CHASE CAR - Security detail or bodyguard vehicle that follows the subject.
CHEATING - Command of the target from in front of the target during floating box surveillance as opposed to static surveillance. May be performed by pavement artists or wheel artists. See also COMMAND OF THE TARGET.
CHEKA - Russian secret police founded in 1917 by the Bolshevik party, forerunner of the KGB. The Cheka's torture methods were beyond the pale.
CHENG PAO K'O - (Political Security Section) China's intelligence agency.
CHICKEN FEED - Low grade information offered to a double agent, used to establish him as someone with access to intelligence.
CHIEF OF STATION / STATION CHIEF - The officer in charge at a CIA station, usually in a foreign capital
CHILDS, Julia - WWII British intelligence operative who later became a well-known chef.
CHILDS, Morris (Moishe Chilovsky) - Spy
CHOBETSU - One of Japan's security services.
CHOKEPOINT - A narrow passage-such as a bridge, tunnel, or Metro station-used as a surveillance or counter-surveillance tool for channeling the opposing force or monitoring their passage
CHOWKIDAR - (Urdu) A gatekeeper commonly used in the Asian Subcontinent for guarding the entrances to walled compounds.
CHRISTIANS IN ACTION - Slang for the CIA
CIA - A U.S. intelligence agency
CID - The Clandestine Imaging Division of the Office of Technical Service of the CIA. Responsible for providing technical support to clandestine agent operations in the form of photography, secret writing, and video surveillance.
CIPHER / CODE - A system, usually an algorithm, for disguising a message by replacing its letters with other letters or numbers or by shuffling them.
CIRCULAR REPORTING - A situation in which information appears to be corroborated by multiple sources, but in reality comes from only one source.
CIRCUMSTANTIAL INFERENCE - In counterintelligence, refers to a clue that points to the possibility that a subject may wittingly be a tool of the opposition.
CLANDESTINE OPERATION - Actions that are meant to be undetected.
CLANDESTINE SERVICE - The operational arm of the CIA responsible for classic espionage operations, usually with human assets. Also known as the Directorate of Operations (DO) and formerly the Directorate of Plans (DP).
CLASSIFIED INFORMATION - An intelligence operation designed to remain secret.
CLOAK - A sensitive disguise and deception illusionary technique first deployed by the CIA in Moscow during the mid-1970s.
CLEAN - Unknown to enemy intelligence
CNT - Crisis Negotiation Team. Used by police in situations involving hostage-takers or barricaded suspects. Their true role is not to negotiate, but rather to obtain intelligence to facilitate an assault by the SWAT team, and to distract the suspect to divert his attention from the coming assault.
COBBLER - Specialist who creates false passports, visas, diplomas and other documents.
CODEBOOK - A list of plain language words opposite their codeword or code number.
COHEN, Morris (two-guns) - Spy
COLOSSUS - An electronic device that helped solve German cryptograms; the world’s first electronic computer.
COMINT - COMmunications INTelligence, usually gathered by technical interception and code breaking, but also by use of human agents and surreptitious entry.
COMMANDO - A civilian, military, or paramilitary combat group using irregular tactics. Commando can refer to an individual, a cell, a squad, or the organization as a whole.
COMMAND OF THE TARGET - Active visual observation of the subject of the surveillance operation. Used during pedestrian and vehicle surveillance.
COMMO, COMMUNICATIONS - The various forms of secure electronic and non-electronic communications used in clandestine operations.
COMMO PLAN - The various secret communications methods employed with a particular agent (ex: Dead Drop, Numbers stations, etc.)
COMMIT - A surveillance operative performing the commit function is watching a location to determine the direction that the target takes (or "commits" to)
COMMUNICATIONS SECURITY ESTABLISHMENT - (CST) This is the Government of Canada's national cryptologic agency. Responsible for foreign signals intelligence (SIGINT) and protecting Canadian government electronic information and communication networks. See CSE.
COMPARTMENTALIZATION (vertical, lateral, double) - Parceling of information to limit access to information only on a "need to know" basis. The various ways that information is held to only those who "have-a-need-to-know" in an organization. Vertical denies information up or down the chain of command, and lateral denies information from peer groups. Double is spoofing the original group who held the information into believing the operation has ended when it has simply moved to a new compartment
COMPROMISED - When an operation, asset, or agent is uncovered and cannot remain secret.
COMPUTER FORENSICS - Used in espionage to retrieve intelligence from stolen laptops or PCs.
CONCEALMENT DEVICE - Any one of a variety of innocuous devices used to secretly store and transport materials relating to an operation.
CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT (CI) - Human resource that provides information, the same as an informant, but whose identity should always remain secret. (see INFORMANT)
CONG AN BO - Vietnam's security service.
CONRAD, Clyde Lee - Spy
CONSUMER - Person or an organization on the receiving end of intelligence obtained by spies. Also see PRODUCT.
CONTROLLED AGENTS - People who are fully aware of what they are doing and are following the directions of their CIA handler.
CONTROLLER - Officer in charge of agents (aka handler).
COOKED INTELLIGENCE - Distorted intelligence passed on to a double agent, containing some truth.
COORDINATION DE LA SECURITE DU TERRITOIRE - Algeria's security service
COPLON, Judith - Spy
COUNTER-ESPIONAGE - Spying directed against an enemy's spy system, such as by recruiting agents in foreign intelligence organs.
COUNTER-INTELLIGENCE - The activity of preventing the enemy from obtaining secret information, including but not limited to spy-catching.
COURIER - One who delivers documents, money, etc.
COUSINS - Slang for CIA operatives.
COVER - Persona, profession, purpose, activity, fictitious image maintained by an undercover operative. Must be consistent with the agent's background and presence in the target area.
COVER STOP - A stop made while under surveillance that provides an ostensibly innocent reason for a trip.
COVERT ACTION AGENT - A spy who works to reorient an entire nation's politics in favor of his country.
COVERT ACTION OPERATION - An operation designed to affect foreign affairs; may be lethal or non-lethal.
COVERT CELL / CLANDESTINE CELL - A method for organizing a group of people to more effectively resist penetration by an opposing organization. Each people in the cell know the identities of only the other people in their cell.
COVERT OPERATION - Those actions for which the government will deny knowledge or responsibility.
CRABB, Lionel (Buster) - Spy
CRYPTOLOGY - The science of secret writing in all its forms using CRYPTONYMS and CODEWORDS.
CRYPTONYM - Code name; crypt or crypto for short, are always capitalized (ex: FUNFNAGEL). GT and CK, both components of a CIA Cold War cryptonym, are prefixes to code names used to identify the nature of the clandestine source. In this case, GT Funfnagel would have referred to a Soviet agent while CK Funfnagel, to an east East European agent.
CS GAS - A form of tear gas scientifically known as the compound 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile (also called o-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile, used by police, SWAT teams, and the military.
CSE - Canada's signal intelligence agency - Communications Security Establishment.
CSIS - Canadian Security and Intelligence Service - Canada's spy agency.
CT - Counter Terrorism.
CULPER SPY RING (the) - Intelligence gathering operation of General George Washington.
CUT-OUT - A cut-out is a mutually trusted intermediary, method or channel of communication that facilitates the exchange of information. One step in security beyond a COVERT CELL, the cut-out knows only the provenance and destination of what he / she / it is conveying.