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Episodes

The Poisoning of Sergei Skripal | Episode 94

3/22/2018
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Fred Burton, former deputy chief of counterterrorism at the Diplomatic Security Service and the author of GHOST: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent, Chasing Shadows: A Special Agent’s Lifelong Hunt to Bring a Cold War Assassin to Justice, and Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi joined me shortly after the attack on Sergei […]

Duration:00:35:22

Team Leadership & Ethics | Episode 93

2/5/2018
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In his 3+ years as Chief of the Analysis Bureau at New Jersey’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Dean Baratta led a very capable team of intelligence analysts. Dean was a critical part of a small team that was widely recognized for its innovative approaches. Now, as he moves on to another project, he […]

Duration:00:39:04

The Jerry Chun Shing Lee Case | Episode 92

1/22/2018
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William J. Tucker, a regular contributor on counterintelligence and security topics for Blogs of War and Covert Contact, returns for a look at the Jerry Chun Shing Lee case. Jerry Chun Shing Lee, a former CIA case officer, is suspected by many to have compromised CIA activities in China but has only been charged with […]

Duration:00:32:40

North Korean Cryptocurrency Ops | Episode 91

1/10/2018
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In episode 91 security researcher and Stratfor Global Fellow Scot Terban (AKA Krypt3ia) joins me to discuss North Korea’s sophisticated exploitation of cryptocurrency.

Duration:00:30:18

Combatting Misinformation | Episode 90

1/1/2018
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Andrew Trabulsi (entrepreneur, consultant, and co-editor of Warlords, Inc.: Black Markets, Broken States, and the Rise of the Warlord Entrepreneur) joins me to discuss misinformation, the technology and platforms facilitating it, and the challenges faced in combatting it.

Duration:00:31:41

Evaluating the North Korean Threat | Episode 89

12/18/2017
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Phil Walter joins returns to the show to look at how the U.S. processes and evaluates the threat posed by North Korea. We try to separate the rhetoric and action to cut through the hype. We examine American concepts of security and risk and how emotional responses drive both. Is war with North Korea likely? […]

Duration:00:31:41

Protecting the British Royal Family | Episode 88

12/11/2017
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Protecting the British royal family is incredibly difficult. Fred Burton, former deputy chief of counterterrorism at the Diplomatic Security Service and the author of GHOST: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent, Chasing Shadows: A Special Agent’s Lifelong Hunt to Bring a Cold War Assassin to Justice, and Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in […]

Duration:00:28:22

Beyond Bitcoin: Cryptocurrency Investing | Episode 87

12/4/2017
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Andrew Trabulsi (entrepreneur, consultant, and co-editor of Warlords, Inc.: Black Markets, Broken States, and the Rise of the Warlord Entrepreneur) joins me to discuss Cryptocurrency investing. We look at how blockchain and cryptocurrency models have evolved since the introduction of Bitcoin. For those new to the technologies and markets we share the easiest way to get started, important […]

Duration:00:41:11

Bullets of Palestine | Episode 86

11/29/2017
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Author Howard Kaplan returns to Covert Contact to discuss Bullets of Palestine (the second novel in his Jerusalem Spy Series), chronic tensions in the Middle East, the prospect for reconciliation, Abu Nidal, and his approach to writing. Longtime listeners will recognize Howard from episode 21 where we discussed the first novel in the series.

Duration:00:32:35

Terrorists and Technology | Episode 85

11/20/2017
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Levi West, Director of Terrorism Studies at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, returns to look at how terrorists leverage (or don’t leverage) emerging apps and platforms ranging from social media, to encryption, to cryptocurrencies. We do our best to cut through the hype and look at the very real limits and challenges terrorists face when […]

Duration:00:46:00

Economic Espionage: No One Is Immune | Episode 84

11/13/2017
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William J. Tucker, a regular contributor on counterintelligence and security topics for Blogs of War and Covert Contact, joins me for a deep dive on economic espionage. Organizations face far more risk from this threat than they realize, or want to realize, and most are no match for an interested foreign intelligence service. We discuss […]

Duration:00:31:26

Iraq’s Consolidation and the Kurds | Episode 83

11/6/2017
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Iraq has made surprising gains in its effort to undermine or eliminate Kurdish autonomy since mid-October when we first visited this issue. Phillip Smyth joins me again to look at recent developments and the potential implications. Phillip Smyth is a researcher at the University of Maryland who focuses on Iran-backed Shiite proxy groups. He is also […]

Duration:00:36:22

The Crypto Wars: Update from the Australian Front | Episode 82

10/30/2017
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Australian freelance journalist, commentator, and broadcaster Stilgherrian is back to discuss the battle over encryption and the seemingly irreconcilable differences between governments and privacy advocates. The Australian government has been particularly active in this space lately and Stil has a lot to say about their approach to the problem and how they could drive responses […]

Duration:00:31:47

From CIA Case Officer to Rookie Cop | Episode 81

10/23/2017
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Former CIA Case Officer Patrick Skinner has appeared on Covert Contact several times to discuss intelligence issues and break down significant terrorist attacks. Last year, driven by more than a little frustration and a desire to act locally, Patrick decided to make a fascinating career transition and become a local police officer. In episode 81 […]

Duration:00:40:21

The Kurdish Problem | Episode 80

10/17/2017
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Phillip Smyth is a researcher at the University of Maryland who focuses on Iran-backed Shiite proxy groups. He is also widely known for his Hizballah Cavalcade project on Jihadology. Phillip joined me, with very short notice, to push out this look at the complexities surrounding the Kurdish drive for independence and how that looks to play out given […]

Duration:00:32:29

Propaganda, Influence, and Disruption | Episode 79

10/16/2017
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Andrew Trabulsi, a strategy, technology, and intelligence consultant and co-editor of Warlords, Inc.: Black Markets, Broken States, and the Rise of the Warlord Entrepreneur, joins me in episode 79 to look at recent developments in the social media space of the investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election and what the evidence says about our ability (or […]

Duration:00:26:26

Australian Cyber Policy | Episode 78

10/9/2017
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Episode 78 wraps up a full month of focus on Australian defense perspectives with a look at

Duration:00:41:43

Australian Approaches to Counterterrorism | Episode 77

10/2/2017
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The third week of episodes focused on Australian security perspectives continues with a discussion about Australia’s approach to counterterrorism with Levi West. Levi is the Director of Terrorism Studies at Charles Sturt University in Canberra. Our discussion is wide ranging and spans how the university’s terrorism program is structured, the legal framework governing security operations […]

Duration:00:38:34

Australian Special Operations Forces | Episode 76

9/25/2017
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I’m joined by Colonel Ian Langford, DSC and Bar, who has served the Australian Army and Special Operations Command, with distinction, for over two decades. He has served in the Solomon Islands, East Timor, Bougainville, Israel, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Afghanistan where he was recognized with the Distinguished Service Cross for distinguished command and leadership […]

Duration:00:32:39

Understanding and Developing Resilience To Information Warfare | Episode 75

9/18/2017
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Dr. Clint Arizmendi, an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow for the Australian Graduate School of Policing & Security’s Terrorism Studies program at Charles Sturt University, joins me to discuss information warfare in episode 75. Of course, we look at the subject primarily through the lens of current events. Russia is covered, as is the Trump administration, […]

Duration:00:30:20