Spy people, p.1
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       Spy People, p.1

           Duncan James
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Spy People


  Duncan James

  Published by Duncan James

  Copyright 2013 Duncan James




















  Professor Jack Barclay had been wanted for years, but mostly by fellow scientists who sought to work with him in his increasingly successful research into a controllable form of nuclear fusion, seen as the ultimate solution to the world’s energy crisis. He was leading the research work, with a small team, at their secret laboratory at Culham, in Oxfordshire.

  The Russians, however, wanted Jack Barclay dead.

  They had worked out that if he succeeded, as was becoming increasingly likely, the political power they wielded through their vast reserves of fossil fuels would be put at risk. They wanted the work stopped, and judged that the only way of achieving that was to kill him. The professor and his team were all unaware of this unwelcome attention, but some of Britain’s commercial attachés overseas, and elements of the intelligence fraternity, had already begun to pick up the unhealthy interest being shown in his work. Slowly, news of this focus on Barclay filtered upwards through the diplomatic and intelligence networks until it reached the higher echelons of the establishment in Whitehall.

  It was at a meeting of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) that the issue was first discussed, albeit briefly. Sir Robin Algar, the Cabinet Secretary and Chairman of JIC, told the meeting that some leading questions were being asked in some quarters which could indicate more than a natural curiosity in the work of Barclay and his team

  Sir Frederick Forsyth, Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Office, agreed that recent telegrams had suggested that a couple of governments overseas, including Russia, were taking rather more than a scientific interest in the work being pioneered in this country. The Home Office man, James Burgess, agreed. That meant that both MI6 and MI5 were hearing the same thing.

  Algar told them all to check.

  “I’d like to know at our next meeting if anything suggesting a threat is developing, so that we can react accordingly. Get the usual checks done by the Security Services, and I’d like your people, Len, to report anything they may have picked up.” This was not only to Sir Len Watkins, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence but also to the Chief of Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS). “We will discuss it again when next we meet,” he said, and adjourned the meeting.

  The next meeting turned out to be quite interesting.

  Forsyth, the Foreign Office man, summed up.

  “There are two rival camps here, so I believe. My Intelligence people are indicating that there are those who are desperately head-hunting Professor Barclay, to get him to work for them rather than us, and there are others – or at least one other, I should say– who simply want him removed from the scene. Perhaps permanently.”

  “I agree,” said Algar. “I know for a fact that the Americans have offered Barclay very attractive terms indeed to work for them at the National Ignition Facility based at the Lawrence Livermore laboratory in California. Barclay seems interested, I’m told, but so far has decided to stay put.”

  “What about this apparent threat to remove him from the scene?” asked Watkins.

  “According to our information,” said the Head of SIS, “the Russians at least want him out of the way. There seem to be two reasons for this, but the main one is to slow down the development of an alternative energy source until their own vast reserves of oil and gas are nearing depletion, and then to capture the new market to themselves. In particular, they are keen that he doesn’t work for the Americans.”

  “So are we,” agreed Algar, “but for different reasons.”

  “So how do we assess the threat?” asked Watkins.

  “Ignoring the danger to our own national interests for the moment, Barclay himself seems to face a real risk of either kidnap or assassination,” said Algar. “My view is that Section 11 should be tasked to keep a close eye on the man.”


  Which was why Section 11 had been charged with providing protection for Barclay.

  It’s what they did.

  From their unobtrusive and rather down-at-heel Headquarters above a row of shops in the Clerkenwell area of London, quietly and secretly S.11 had a worldwide remit to guard high value UK citizens, when they were at maximum risk, and, if necessary, to ‘eliminate’ any serious threat to their safety. They were all individuals who, because of their exceptional importance to the country, were naturally also of interest to the country’s enemies.

  The subjects of Section 11’s attention rarely knew anything about it, or even noticed the constant surveillance and protection that was being devoted to them.

  Barclay certainly had no idea.

  Run jointly by MI5 and MI6, Section 11 (5+6) was a small, very top-secret unit, which had so far managed to remain top secret. They went out of their way to remain - well, out of the way. It was one of those organisations that reported directly to Downing Street. It wasn’t concerned with royalty or senior ministers or foreign dignitaries. The Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Unit, run by the Metropolitan Police from Scotland Yard, looked after them. Section 11 looked after other, less obvious but none the less high value targets.

  At the sharp-end of Section 11 was a flexible force of specially trained field officers, mostly drawn from military special forces and police special branch, but with a few from the security services. There was no telling how many might be needed at any one time, or where they might be deployed, so there was an ‘on call’ reserve pool available at ‘no notice’ if required. Although when out in the field they normally worked in pairs, they were otherwise on their own with little or no immediate back up or support. Their first priority, for which they were specially trained, was to remain invisible, un-noticed.

  They were very special men and women. Most were fluent in at least two languages other than their native tongue; they were all parachute trained, survival specialists and sniper marksmen. And they were mostly armed. They were also experts in pursuit driving, and had available a range of vehicles in the garage immediately below the headquarters building, including a selection of motorbikes from 50cc Vesper scooters to BMW R1159s and Honda CBR 900s. Most of the vehicles had been modified in some way. The mechanics that worked on them were particularly proud of an old Morris Minor, which although sounding as if it needed a new exhaust, could actually do nearly a ton. But the motorbikes were the most popular with the agents. Easy to use in traffic, not normally out of place anywhere, and ideal for two people.

  The staff who were based in the rather gloomy Headquarters did all the things that get done in any other head office, as well as quite a few other things that don’t. But it was a small and tightly knit community, and the operatives in the field had been trained to be largely self-supporting, so when they did get on to HQ, it was usually important enough for people to take notice and do something. In a hurry. There were always people there, at night and at weekends, and
any one of them could summon help from on-call staff at home, who reacted immediately, whatever they were doing.

  At the top of this shabby looking but extremely efficient organisation, was the Head of Section, retired Colonel Bill Clayton. He was known simply as ‘S’, in the same way that the Director General of the Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6 as most people called it, was known as ‘C’, and the head of MI5 was known as ‘M’. ‘S’ had a deputy, Commander Nick Marsden of the Special Boat Service, and one or other of them was always available. And that meant ‘always’: 24/7, as the idiom had it. The hierarchy was really quite small for an organisation that had a worldwide remit, and they were all widely experienced members of the intelligence community. Their job now was not so much to gather intelligence, or even interpret it, but rather to act upon it.

  The fact was that Bill Clayton and his small but highly professional team were finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with Barclay, who worked excessively long hours and travelled a lot. He had a flat in London, as well as one at Harwell, near the Culham laboratory, he often visited colleagues in France and America, gave lectures and delivered learned papers, and, more recently, had even visited The Gulf for talks with the UAE Government. Looking after Barclay was proving very labour intensive. Even the people in Section 11 had trouble keeping up, and they were the best you could find in the intelligence world.

  To make things worse, the Top Secret agency was itself responsible for creating some of the extra workload, as they also had to keep an eye on the ex-Head of Section, Alan Jarvis. The Russians had contacted him for some reason, and until they knew the reason, he also had to be watched, like a hawk.

  Jarvis had virtually been sacked from leading Section 11, and had a chip on his shoulder. He also had an illegitimate son, who the Russians had threatened to kidnap. All this meant that S.11 needed new recruits who Jarvis wouldn’t recognise from his time as ‘S’.

  Bill Clayton was lucky enough to be on good terms with the Head of Defence Intelligence at the Defence Ministry, who immediately recognised the problem.

  As he put it, “You could be in deep shit old man, d’you know that?”

  But he had just the man to help out.

  “My best chap”, he said, “Special Forces, Staff Sergeant, tough as old boots and more secure than the Bank of England’s vault. No family ties, happy to work all hours, and itching to get back into the field. I think he’s just the man you want.”

  That’s how General Pearson-Jones had described him to Bill Clayton.

  “I’ll tell him about you straight away. He’s already aware of Section 11, of course. He can be with you later this afternoon. I’ll send his personal record file over by messenger immediately, and send him over on the bus a bit later.”

  “Why can’t he bring his Service record with him?”

  “Because he’d read the bloody thing, that’s why! He’s like that.”

  “What’s his name, by the way?”

  “Miller. ‘Dusty’ Miller. Your good lady wife Catherine is bound to know him; they served together in Iraq.”

  “Thanks, PJ.”

  “Don’t mention it. And good luck. You’re probably going to need it.”

  Dusty Miller did a few checks of his own before he went to Clerkenwell that afternoon. He believed in knowing as much as possible about what he was getting involved in and the people he would be working with before he got involved. ‘Rule one’, he called it.


  Miller proved to be a great asset to the Section, and immediately settled in to the task of shadowing Jarvis. He was good – no doubt about it.

  He was tasked to keep an eye on the first meeting between Jarvis and a Russian agent, Dmitri Makienko. This had been arranged to take place on the bridge over the lake in St. James’s Park. The elaborate plans which had been laid on to monitor the meeting broke down when the two men strolled off to walk round the lake, but Miller managed to keep track of them. At one point, the Russian handed something to Jarvis. Something small. Not a package, but small, like a coin. A key, perhaps? Miller couldn’t think what else it might be, but by then, those monitoring the pair had lost radio contact with them as they moved out of range, so nobody knew for sure.

  Eventually, Miller gave chase as Jarvis dived into London’s Underground system to get the tube to Heathrow Airport. He followed Jarvis, and watched as he unlocked a left luggage locker in the Terminal Three arrivals hall with the key he had been given, and removed a large briefcase.

  Later that night, on his own initiative, Miller broke in to Jarvis’s house.

  He discovered that the custom-built case contained a powerful Russian sniper rifle.

  Through various telephone intercepts, the security services discovered that Jarvis was being blackmailed, and guessed that the rifle was to be used against Barclay. Miller was charged with following Jarvis as he left for the planned assassination attempt, but instead of heading for the Oxfordshire laboratory where Barclay worked, Jarvis headed across London to the Battersea flat where Barclay’s twin brother was staying.

  The man Jarvis shot and killed turned out not to be Professor Barclay at all, but the Russians, who gave Jarvis the Kalashnikov sniper’s rifle, all thought Jarvis had succeeded in killing the prime target. They had no idea that Jack Barclay had an identical twin brother, so Makienko never realised that Jarvis had killed the wrong man. At the time, Dusty Miller was equally ignorant of the true facts.

  The day after the killing, Miller was at the Russian agent’s final and fatal meeting with Jarvis in a Piccadilly coffee bar, arranged so that the murder weapon could be returned. Once he had retrieved the weapon, Makienko planned to kill Jarvis, to stop him talking. Miller saw Jarvis poisoned by Makienko and he had photographs to prove it. They showed Makienko emptying a sachet into Jarvis’s coffee.

  That’s how good Miller was. And even better, a bit later on, as Makienko was in the airport loo at Heathrow on his way back to Moscow having been kicked out of London, Miller managed to cut out the pocket from the man’s raincoat which he had been wearing in the coffee bar, and in which the sachet of poison had been kept. The pocket still contained traces of the poison. So now they had positive evidence, and not just what the Ambassador had called ‘fake’ photographs.

  It was immediately obvious to the London intelligence community that Barclay remained in mortal danger unless the Russians could be convinced that he was in fact dead. They concluded that the only way to do that was to take him out of circulation; for ever. That’s what the Russians wanted, after all.

  With his permission, his twin’s body was left in the flat for the police to find in due course, while Jack Barclay himself was given a new identity, a new name, a new job, and a new nationality and a new passport.

  But it had been about the time of the inquest into Barclay that things started to go wrong in London.

  Really wrong, that is. Nothing had been going really right in this case for some time, if they were honest. Things were about to get even worse, too, and there was nothing they could do about it.

  The wheel came off with a vengeance when they suddenly discovered that Makienko had turned up again. That caught them all by surprise, and they could only guess why he had returned to London. Certainly the Ambassador had been no help, pretending as he did that he knew nothing about it. He certainly wasn’t a very good Ambassador. The Foreign Office had discovered that some time ago, but he wasn’t a very good liar either.

  Makienko was one of Moscow’s top agents, and had been kicked out of London only a few weeks before. And so he should have been. After all, he’d killed Alan Jarvis, one of MI5’s most senior agents. Poisoned him in broad daylight in a Piccadilly coffee bar; you can’t expect to get away with that sort of thing. So the Ambassador was politely asked to make sure he was on the next plane home. Makienko’s Director at the old KGB Headquarters in Moscow was not at all pleased to see him back, and told him so. Everyone in London thought that was that, and certainly
didn’t expect that he would turn up again. Especially not that soon.

  But Makienko had come back. He arrived as a tourist, on his own passport. MI5 were tipped off by a double agent at the Russian Trade Mission.

  Just before the inquest, it was. The inquest into Professor Jack Barclay. Except that it wasn’t Jack Barclay’s inquest at all, really. It was his twin brother, Roger. Not a lot of people knew that. Makienko certainly didn’t, although he suspected that Jack Barclay could still be alive. That’s why he had come back.

  Nobody was sure why Makienko thought the professor was still alive, but he had begun to wonder if he might be, as there had been no announcement of his death, and nothing in the newspapers. He came back to find out, and to finish the job if necessary. He needed to convince his ‘Director’ in Moscow that he was as good as he claimed.

  But he wasn’t. He was spotted again, and got sent home again.

  Makienko had gone to the crematorium for Barclay’s funeral, and been seen. Once again, the Ambassador was politely asked to arrange Makienko’s immediate return to Moscow. Once again, that’s what he did.

  It was as Dr. Roger Lloyd, a Swiss scientist working at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) near Geneva, that Barclay eventually attended his own funeral. All but a very select few now knew that Professor Barclay had not, after all, had a nervous breakdown, but had been murdered. As planned Lloyd went to Switzerland, to start his new life, immediately after the service for his brother at the crematorium.

  Miller, though, went with him. As Makienko was obviously still showing an interest, it had been decided to extend Section 11’s protection operation for a bit longer. It was just as well.

  Makienko had never arrived in Moscow. He had a sneaking suspicion that the Doctor and the Professor could just be one and the same person. It was not beyond the bounds of possibility, after all, and there was a likeness. So, without telling anyone, he gave chase. Following a tip off by another Russian agent in London, he went to Zurich instead of Moscow, and nobody knew.


  There was confusion in Moscow, and Moscow did not like confusion.

  Moscow, especially in the Lubyanka building, liked order rather than disorder, certainty rather that uncertainty, fact rather than theory, knowledge rather than ignorance, discipline rather than indiscipline, and above all, live spies rather than dead ones.

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