Army Seeks Increased Awareness of Subversion, Leaks

10.05.10 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

A U.S. Army regulation (pdf) issued yesterday requires Army personnel to report any incident on a newly expanded list of possible indications of “espionage, international terrorism, sabotage, subversion” as well as “leaks to the media.”

“The Army is a prime target for foreign intelligence and international terrorist elements… from within and OCONUS [outside the continental United States],” the regulation states. “The Army also faces threats from persons on the inside… who may compromise the ability of the organization to accomplish its mission through espionage, acts of terrorism, support to international terrorist organizations, or unauthorized release or disclosure of classified or sensitive information.”

The regulation presents an extensive description of suspicious behaviors that are reportable to authorities, including “attempts to expand access to classified information by repeatedly volunteering for assignments or duties beyond the normal scope of responsibilities.”

It also provides guidance on how to respond to the discovery of a clandestine surveillance device (“do not disturb the device”) or an approach by a foreign intelligence officer (“remain noncommittal, neither refusing nor agreeing to cooperate”;  also, “do not, under any circumstances, conduct your own investigation”).

The regulation includes tables listing behavior that may be exhibited by a person engaged in espionage, indicators of insider threats of terrorism, and signs of extremist activity that may pose a threat to U.S. military facilities or operations. See “Threat Awareness and Reporting Program,” U.S. Army Regulation 381-12, October 4, 2010.  (The prior edition of this regulation, formerly titled “Subversion and Espionage Directed Against the U.S. Army (SAEDA)” and dated January 15, 1993, is available here.)