The science of spying: how the #CIA secretly recruits academics | News | The Guardian
Intelligence from academic conferences can shape policy. It helped persuade the George W Bush administration –mistakenly, as it turned out – that Saddam Hussein was still developing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Because it was hard to approach the scientists in #Iran, the CIA enticed them to conferences in friendly or neutral countries, a former intelligence officer told me. In consultation with #Israel, the agency would choose a prospect. Then it would set up a conference at a prestigious scientific institute through a cutout, typically a businessman, who would underwrite the symposium with $500,000 to $2m in agency funds.