Sexual Warriors: How to Set a Honey Trap

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TRADECRAFT: Seductive spies aren’t simply James Bond fantasies – femmes fatales have been a key feature of espionage for centuries

goldhill_2934190aFor The Telegraph writes: The best security and military training in the world is no match for the charms of a femme fatale. Using feminine wiles to access state secrets sounds like hackneyed fiction – surely anyone with a secret worth keeping would run at the sight of a beautiful lady in red lipstick? But the oldest trick in the book never stops working, and spy agencies continue to use seduction as an effective method of espionage.

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“In America, in the West, occasionally you ask your men to stand up for their country. In Russia, we just ask our young women to lay down.”

— Oleg Kalugin, a former KGB general

Stefan Wolff, professor of international security at Birmingham University, says that few governments would consider seduction an off-limit technique. “If you’re in the spying business, any opportunity that you have to get information, you will use,” he says. “Especially given what we’ve learnt from Wikileaks and Snowden, not much is considered to be beyond the pale when it comes to key issues of national security. I would argue, maybe that’s the right approach. If you want to save lives then a honey trap is a much more palatable approach than waterboarding.”

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“I’d see a German officer on the train or somewhere, sometimes dressed in civvies, but you could pick ’em. So, instead of raising suspicions I’d flirt with them, ask for a light and say my lighter was out of fuel…. ‘Do you want to search me?’ God, what a flirtatious little bastard I was.”

— Nancy Wake, a British agent during the Second World War

National Archives have revealed that special agent “Fifi”, a stunning blonde woman, was used to test the trustworthiness of young British spies during the Second World War. And there’s no signs that the technique has gone out of fashion. But how do you set a honey trap? Here are some of the secrets of seduction gleaned from the great femme fatales of history.

Choose your target

Before the act of seduction begins, extensive research and meticulous planning goes into selecting the target. Paul Cornish, professor at the Strategy and Security Institute at the University of Exeter, says that preparation work is “worth the effort”, as the intelligence procured can be “very significant”. Professor Cornish says that two main psychological profiles are likely to be the targets of a honey trap: those in need of affection, and dominant characters who believe that rules don’t apply to them.

“In the ‘60s, a communist mole who had infiltrated the CIA gained his colleague’s trust through wife swapping. Free love helped Karl and Hana Koecher get to know important CIA officials, and they then passed information onto the KGB.”

He describes the beta characters as “those who lack confidence, feel insecure, harbour grievances and need affection”, while a controlling alpha type might be a dominant player who thinks “he can calculate and manage risks better than anyone else”. Although beta characters might be a more obvious target, the decidedly alpha President John Kennedy is believed to have slept with two spies, a suspected Nazi sympathiser and an East German agent, which suggests that even the most confident politicians are susceptible.

Be exceptionally beautiful

It’s no coincidence that many of the most dangerous female spies had naturally stunning looks. Suspected World War One spy Mata Hari was an exotic dancer and courtesan, who had no trouble attracting the attention of powerful government officials. More recently, Anna Chapman spiced up US-Russian relations when she was deported for the United States. But although she allegedly came close to the highest levels of US government, vice president Joe Biden said he was sorry to see her go. “Let me be clear. It wasn’t my idea to send her back,” joked Biden on US television. He did not answer comedian Jay Leno’s question about whether the US has any spies who are “that hot”.

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Mata Hari was found guilty of espionage

Don’t make the first approach

Despite what you see on James Bond, most femme fatales don’t approach an espionage target and start fluttering their eyelashes wildly. As Professor Wolff says, “You can’t just deliver a flood of very attractive Russian females – somebody will of course notice”. Instead, many engineer a chance meeting. During the Cold War, a security guard at the US embassy in Moscow bumped into a 25-year-old KGB officer Violetta Seina at a metro station. Sergeant Lonetree said he coincidentally ran into her again one month later and the pair were so engrossed in conversation that Seina missed her train stop as the two talked about American films and Lonetree’s life in Moscow. He eventually leaked information about life in the US embassy and was convicted of espionage….(read more)

Telegraph



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