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NSA: Spies among us

Here in South Florida where we have a large Cuban population there is always the possibility that Castro has placed his drones in the most unlikely places:

"FIU professor, wife, charged with violating national security, denied bond

"A Florida International University professor and his wife, both accused of being foreign agents for Cuba's communist government, were denied bond today.

Federal Magistrate Andrea Simonton said Carlos M. Alvarez, 61, and his wife, Elsa, 55, posed a flight risk if allowed to return to their South Miami home. ''I believe they would go back to Cuba,'' Simonton said.

The couple were arrested Friday by federal agents and appeared in Miami federal court Monday. They are accused of serving as foreign agents for Cuba without registering with the U.S. government, as is required by law.

Carlos Alvarez is an associate professor of educational leadership and policy studies. Elsa Alvarez is an administrator at FIU.

Assistant U.S. attorney Brian Frazier said that Carlos Alvarez had spied for Cuba since 1977 and Elsa Alvarez since 1982, and that they relayed much of their information directly to Cuba's intelligence director, using shortwave radio and the Internet.

The FBI said the evidence the couple provided Cuba's government focused on Cuban exile groups in Miami and that there was no classified or sensitive military information provided to Cuba. The couple also provided Cuban officials with the identity of an FBI agent.

If convicted, they face prison sentences of seven to 10 years. Another hearing is set for Jan. 19.

The couple, who have five children among them, including a 12-year-old daughter, is in custody at the Miami Federal Detention Center. The indictment, returned in late December, was unsealed this afternoon.

Their arrests come as a federal appellate court in Atlanta hears arguments next month in an unrelated Cuban spy case in which five men were convicted of espionage charges. The Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will determine whether pretrial publicity in that case tainted the jury pool."

According to an emailer, Elsa and her husband also did side work with Metro Dade PD working up psychological profiles on suspects (I've confirmed that). In addition, according to Mora y Leon over at American Thinker:

"A Google search shows that someone who’s identified as Elsa Prieto (which is the maiden name of one of two U.S. spies accused yesterday), a psychologist associated with Florida International University, appears 1982 U.S. Congressional testimony as someone accused of handing over psychological records to the Castro regime as a means of coercing or blackmailing Cuban-Americans. The congressional report says:

"Due to the nature of mental illness these records are protected by State laws and Government guidelines, and usually only upon court order or personal waiver and release, can the information be obtained by a third party. The access of this type of information to suspected or actual Castro agents is of a great concern to all. Imagine if you will, what a fantastic tool for extortion or manipulation a foreign government would have by having this information. Let us ask you, how would you feel if you, your relatives, or assistants had a history of mental illness, and if this information was leaked to Cuba or any other country? Can you imagine the pressure that they could exercise over you?"

Castro has been infiltrating us for years. As in this 2001 Newsmax Article tells us, much of his "recruiting" is done through already established "plants" within our academic facilities, Why? How do they do it? Simple, it's easy.

"Intelligence operatives for communist Cuban dictator Fidel Castro are working in the U.S. to get their spies or unwitting "dupes into influential positions in America’s defense establishment." Further, Castro is himself a "terrorist” whose intelligence service has a "biological weapons branch.” Moreover, he is willing to aid whatever terrorist seeks to destroy the U.S, including Osama bin Laden’s network. And he has sought to learn as much as he can about how the U.S. Postal Service works.

That information emerged at a Tuesday panel discussion in the Washington area that included two former Cuban intelligence officers who have defected to the U.S.

Cuba’s major subversive focus of attention here is the U.S. military establishment, according to defectors Jorge Masetti and Jose Cohen. Professors at various campuses are aiding and abetting Castro, they allege."

Bascially the article states the 'targets' normally professors are grouped into three categories:

"1. Actual agents.

2. "Useful tools,” or "dupes” as such people were known during the height of the Cold War with the Soviets.

3. The "unregistered agent.”

The U.S. has no legal basis for acting against Categories 2 and 3 because they are not passing on classified information. The "useful tools” are generally well intentioned and innocent of how they are being used by Cuban intelligence. In some cases, intensive efforts are made to recruit them. Cuban intelligence agents also try to collect personal information on such people "in order to compromise them in some fashion or blackmail them.”

"With some of these academics,” said Cohen, "you can see an article in the New York Times, and you say to yourself, ‘My God, it’s very clear to me the information this individual is relating was fed to them by Cuban intelligence.'”

Cuban authorities have extensive files on many of the objects of recruitment in the U.S.

That prompted John Miller, an American journalist who has written extensively on Cuban espionage in the U.S., to say this would be a problem even if Cuba were not trying to do these things.

The ideological leanings of university professors "everywhere” would still give propagandists for Marxists such as Castro an advantage on U.S. campuses, he alleged. Miller cited Latin American studies as "especially vulnerable,” but also leftist classes outside the traditional disciplines. These would include "women’s studies, African-American studies and so forth.”

Campus activity, Cohen added, is by no means restricted to infiltrating the defense industry here. For example, students are analyzed "in terms of their potential to plans for violence in a time of war." Among the violent acts envisioned is "the planting of bombs in American Metro stations, subway stations.”

Lest one take seriously those who deny Castro’s links to international terrorism, the Cuban defectors noted that the longtime Caribbean dictator visited Syria and Iran and vowed that together, Cuba and others would "bring the United States to its knees.”

Read the rest of the Newsmax article - which although four years old, is still indicative of the infiltration of Castro's spy apparatus in the US.

By the way. As I understand it, they were nabbed using the NSA Surveillance program that the left is in such a huff about. Proof again - it works!

UPDATE: While the NSA program works, the larger question of this story would be how Elsa Prieto (Alvarez) would be identified in 1982 as handing over pschological records to the Cuban government YET go on to work at FIU and for Metro Dade only to be caught 20 years later. Who would allow an indentified plant of Castro to grow so long? Well, here's a further account from the AP:

"The couple were charged with acting as agents of Fidel Castro without registering with the U.S. government.

Frazier said Alvarez had spied for Cuba since 1977 and his wife since 1982. Neither was charged with the more serious offense of espionage, and FBI agents said there was no evidence they provided classified or military information to Cuba.

Much of what they provided involved information about the U.S. political situation, prominent Cuban-Americans in South Florida and the names of at least one FBI agent, Frazier said."

So apparently, even though in 1982 Elsa was indentified as sending psychological records on Cuban exiles to Castro and that act - while illegal under Florida law - was apparantly not deemed an act of espionage as no "US Secrets" were given....well, we have quite a story here that isn't being reported.

I'll be on the phones today digging further....stay tuned.


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