1. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Agent Provocateurs in Real & Imagined History

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Hubardo, Jul 6, 2015.

    My friend Wikipedia says:

    An agent provocateur (French for "inciting agent") is an undercover agent who acts to entice another person to commit an illegal or rash act or falsely implicate them in partaking in an illegal act
    I'm interested in revisiting an old WIP wherein the MC is an agent provocateur posing as the leader of a radical environmentalist group. The group calls for the formation of underground cells that target energy infrastructure throughout the industrial world to end civilization (an ecorestoration project of sorts?). The purpose, as was with COINTELPRO as far as I know, would be to identify those crazy enough to carry out such acts then imprison/punish them.

    I've never read a spy novel -- shame! -- so for those who have, are there good examples of stuff like this? Also, any history buffs that know the details of COINTELPRO and other similar programs/groups created by nation states, I'd love to know more. In my late teens I read some declassified CIA books and found out about really interesting covert ops missions that chilled my blood, but can't recall agent provocateur stuff from any of them in particular.
     
  2. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow, this link:

    http://www.motherjones.com/fbi-terrorist?tid_2=21131

    Seems unlikely that an agent would actually lead a terrorist group, but that's where creative juices can compensate... there are ways to make it "realistic" I guess...
     
  3. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh, more interestingness:

    Yevno Azef (Russian: Евгений Филиппович (Евно Фишелевич) Азеф, 1869–1918, also transliterated as Evno Azef), was a socialistrevolutionary who was also a double agent working both as an organizer ofassassinations for the Socialist-Revolutionary Party (also known as SRs or Esers) and a police spy for the Okhrana, the Imperial secret police. He was an agent provocateur, carrying out acts of terrorism, which justified the police's arresting his accomplices.
     
  4. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't have a ton of examples of people, but the ABSCAM incident comes to mind

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abscam

    It's worth noting that the FBI does a lot of this sort of stuff online even today - it's not uncommon for federal agents to pose as jihadists in order to catch people planning terrorist attacks, or as pedophiles to find people who are abusing children.
     
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  5. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm finding dozens of little stories like this -- so crazy:


    After Smadi was found in an extremist online chatroom, two FBI agents posing as Al Qaeda members provided him with a car he believed was filled with explosives. He drove the car into the underground garage of the 60-story Fountain Place building in Dallas and tried to detonate the phony bomb. He was sentenced to 24 years in prison.​
     
  6. Stacy C
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    Stacy C Banned

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    That seems to be the only way the Feds can make a case anymore. Why it doesn't qualify as entrapment is beyond me.
     
  7. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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  8. novemberjuliet
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    Don't know too many spy novels but based on historical examples and some limited experience I could help you. First you'd have to have to have a organization or agency in the intelligence, military or law enforcement community. Then you can create sub-organizations (i.e. task forces, special investigative bodies, etc). Now you want to identify their goal. What threat do these ecoterrorists pose to the organization or its government? If the threat is serious, than the would likely get some pretty decent funding. There is ussually some political agenda o be driven by these agents in order to justify some form of domestic or foreign policy if the agent is employed by a government or large organization.
    If the threat isn't taken as seriously as it should be, than they would have some trouble with funding and resources. This could create some tension and add to the plot.
    Also take some time to think of methods this agent would communicate with his/her parent organization and maintain their cover. The cover story is also just as important to the plot. The agent's fake persona should have just as much development as the actual character.
     
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  9. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Doing research for my WIP I came across this today. My MC is based very loosely on this woman "Anna." The email and text correspondences the FBI was keeping from the defense attorney are so interesting:

    In an email dated 27 June 2005, six months before McDavid’s arrest, “Anna” responded explicitly to his previous amorous advances. She said: “I think you and I could be great, but we have LOTS of little kinks to work out.” She went on to say: “I hope in Indiana we can spend more quality time together, and really chat about life and our things.”

    The tone of romantic encouragement in the email had an immediate impact on McDavid. He replied three days later, using the ungrammatical language of texting: “hey cheeka, so far as us B’n great, that i think is an understatement… along w/the ‘LOTS of little kinks 2 wk out’… but if u aint learning, u aint live’n… & I do think we could learn a lot from each other.”

    In subsequent emails, McDavid continued to express his feelings for her, sending her “big hugs” and saying “miss you much”. Only one of “Anna’s” replies to McDavid is included among the new batch of documents disclosed after so many years. In it she wrote intimately about her hairstyle: “I took out the braids. : ( They were hurting my head SO BADLY by the last night in philly that I was just getting pissy. I’ll do it again, but I think I want the loose pink hair, like I told you about; and I can DIY that. But pain isn’t worth that much – besides, identity is so fluid… but that’s another convo, hopefully for IN. : )”

    The tone is almost flirtatious. McDavid evidently took it to be such, because he replied: “sad & glad 2 hear about the braids, glad 2 hear they Rn’t hurting u’r head anymore, sad 2 c them gone… they were pretty damn cute, & that princess laya thing was 2 hot (inside shiver)”.


    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jan/13/fbi-informant-anna-eric-mcdavid-eco-terrorism
     

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