World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Double agent

Article Id: WHEBN0000291203
Reproduction Date:

Title: Double agent  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Eddie Chapman, Ashraf Marwan, Double-Cross System, Shockwave (Transformers), Clandestine HUMINT asset recruiting
Collection: Double Agents, Military Command Staff Occupations, Spies by Role
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Double agent

In the field of

  • F. M. Begoum: Observations on the Double Agent

External links

  1. ^
  2. ^  
  3. ^ Begoum, F.M. "Observations on the Double Agent". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 


See also

Events in which double agents played an important role

A lesser used definition of triple agent is an agent who works for three intelligence services, but is usually truly loyal to only one of them.

A triple agent pretends to be a double agent for one side, while he or she is truly a double agent for the other side. Famous triple agents include Kim Philby and Alexander Litvinenko.

Triple agent

F. M. Begoum describes the redoubled agent as "one whose duplicity in doubling for another service has been detected by his original sponsor and who has been persuaded to reverse his affections again".[3]

A re-doubled agent is an agent who gets caught as a double agent and is forced to mislead the foreign intelligence service.

Re-doubled agent

Examples of known double agents and moles
Context Agent Nationality Loyal to Spying on Comments References
Wars of the Three Kingdoms
1639 – 1651
Samuel Morland  English  Restoration Commonwealth of England  
Richard Willis English Commonwealth of England Restoration  
World War I
1914 – 1918
Mata Hari Frisian German Empire French Third Republic  
World War II
1939 – 1945
Mathilde Carré "La Chatte" French Double-Cross System
Roman Czerniawski "Brutus" Polish Double-Cross System
Eddie Chapman "ZigZag" English Double-Cross System Infiltrated the German Abwehr during World War II whilst feeding intelligence to MI5. He was so trusted by the Germans that he is reportedly the only British citizen to have ever been awarded the Iron Cross
Roger Grosjean "Fido" French Double-Cross System French Air Force pilot who worked for the British
Christiaan Lindemans "King Kong" Dutch Abwehr (1944) SOE (1940-1944)
Dutch resistance (1941-1944)
Arthur Owens "Snow"  Welsh  Double-Cross System  
Dušan Popov "Tricycle" "Ivan"  Serbian  Double-Cross System Yugoslav working for British MI6 and German Abwehr.
John Herbert Neal Moe "Mutt and Jeff"  Norwegian  Double-Cross System  
Tor Glad "Mutt and Jeff"  Norwegian  Double-Cross System  
Joan Pujol Garcia "Garbo"  Catalan[2]  Double-Cross System British double agent in German spy service-awarded both an MBE and an Iron Cross
Johann Wenzel  Polish
Before 1942

 Red Orchestra

After 1942


Before 1942

 Red Orchestra

After 1942

 Soviet Union

Member of Red Orchestra spy ring who, after being unmasked by the Germans, fed false information to the Soviet Union
William Sebold "Tramp"  German
U.S. citizen
 FBI (1939)  Abwehr (1939) Coerced by the Abwehr into becoming a spy, exposed the Duquesne Spy Ring to the FBI.
Cold War
1947 – 1991
Aldrich Ames  American  KGB  CIA (1957-1993)  
John Cairncross "Liszt"  Scottish  MGB
 Cambridge Five
 MI5 (1941-1944)
 GC&CS (1942-1943)
 MI6 (1944-1945)
Anthony Blunt "Johnson"  English  NKVD
 Cambridge Five
Guy Burgess "Hicks"  English  MGB
 Cambridge Five
 MI5 (1939-1941)
 Foreign Office (1944-1956)
Donald Maclean "Homer"  English  MGB
 Cambridge Five
Kim Philby "Stanley"  English
 Born in India
 Cambridge Five
George Blake  Dutch  KGB  MI6  
Oleg Gordievsky  Russian  MI6 (1968-2008)  KGB (1963-1985) Abducted in Moscow in 1985; escaped to the United Kingdom two months later.
Matei Pavel Haiducu  Romanian  DST (1981)  DIE (1975-1982) Defected to France in 1981.
Dmitri Polyakov  Ukrainian  FBI
 GRU Executed in 1988.
Robert Hanssen  American  GRU  FBI Worked for the FBI and sold information to the Soviet Union as a mole.
Oleg Kalugin  Russian  CIA  KGB Longtime head of KGB operations in the U.S., provided disinformation regarding American involvement in Prague Spring; and also played a role in the establishment of Yeltsin as post-USSR leader. Sentenced in absentia in 2002 to 15 years imprisonment; the US refuses to extradite him
Oleg Penkovskiy "Hero"  Russian  NSA
 GRU A colonel with GRU informed the U.K. and the U.S. about the Soviet emplacement of missiles in Cuba; executed by the Soviets in 1963.
Stig Bergling  Swedish  GRU  SÄPO Among other things, handed over the entire Swedish "FO-code", a top secret list of Sweden's defence establishments, coastal artillery fortifications and mobilization stores. Convicted in 79 and sentenced to life imprisonment for treason.
Arab–Israeli conflict
1948 –
Ashraf Marwan  Egyptian  Mossad  Egypt Egyptian businessman and an alleged spy for Israel, or possibly an Egyptian double agent; managed to become celebrated as a hero in each country for his alleged work against the other.
Basque conflict
1959 – 2011
Mikel Lejarza "El Lobo"  Basque  CESID  ETA  
Northern Ireland conflict
1968 – 1998
Denis Donaldson  Northern Irish  MI5
 Provisional IRA
 Sinn Féin
Found dead in his cottage after a Northern Ireland newspaper exposed him.
Peter Keeley "Kevin Fulton"  Northern Irish  Royal Irish Rangers
 Int Corps
 Provisional IRA Allegedly betrayed by his employers and nearly sacrificed to cement Freddie Scappaticci's cover in the IRA.
Freddie Scappaticci "Stakeknife"  Italian  FRU  Provisional IRA
Allegedly the British government ordered him to expose Fulton to increase his own standing in the IRA.
Robert Nairac  English
 Born in Mauritius
 British Army  Provisional IRA  
Global War on Terrorism
2001 –
"April Fool"  American  United States  Iraq Allegedly, an American officer who provided false information to Saddam Hussein
Iyman Faris  Pakistani
 U.S. citizen
 al-Qaeda  FBI  
Chinese intelligence operations in the United States Katrina Leung  Chinese
 Taiwan citizen
 U.S. citizen

      Double agent       Re-doubled agent

Double agents


  • Double agents 1
  • Re-doubled agent 2
  • Triple agent 3
  • Events in which double agents played an important role 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Double agents are often used to transmit disinformation or to identify other agents as part of counter-espionage operations. They are often very trusted by the controlling organization since the target organization will give them true, but useless or even counterproductive, information to pass along.

Double agentry may be practiced by spies of the target organization who infiltrate the controlling organization, or may result from the turning (switching sides) of previously loyal agents of the controlling organization by the target. The threat of execution is the most common method of turning a captured agent (working for an intelligence service) into a double agent (working for a foreign intelligence service) or a double agent into a re-doubled agent. It is unlike a defector, who is not considered an agent as agents are in place to function for an intelligence service and defectors are not, but some consider that defectors in place are agents until they have defected.


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.