Fake defection, often referred to as a "provocation" or "dangle" in intelligence circles, is a defection by an intelligence agent made on false pretenses. Fake defectors (who may be referred to as "plant"s) may spread disinformation or aid in uncovering moles. The risk that a defection may be fake is often a concern by intelligence agencies debriefing defectors.
Examples of Soviet defectors that some sources have considered fake include Oleg Penkovsky (considered fake by Peter Wright and James Angleton) and Vitaly Yurchenko. Examples of US fake defection operations include Operation Shocker.
In fiction, examples of fake defection include the James Bond film The Living Daylights (1987), the novel The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and its film adaptation, and Torn Curtain (1966 film).
- Roy Pateman (2003), Residual Uncertainty: Trying to Avoid Intelligence and Policy Mistakes in the Modern World, University Press of America, p190
- Vladislav Krasnov (1985), Soviet Defectors: The KGB Wanted List, Hoover Press, Chapter 8: "Spy and Fake Defectors"
- "...the redefector - and certainly the fake defector who returns - must be considered as an very effective weapon that can paralyze the opponents' services for a certain length of time and possible can cripple their morale." - Federal government's handling of Soviet and communist bloc defectors: hearings before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundredth Congress, first session, October 8, 9, 21, 1987, Volume 4, p550
- Roy Pateman (2003), Residual Uncertainty: Trying to Avoid Intelligence and Policy Mistakes in the Modern World, University Press of America, p16
- John Orr (2010), Romantics and Modernists in British Cinema, Edinburgh University Press, p63
- Carl Boggs (ed. 2003), Masters of War: Militarism and Blowback in the Era of American Empire, Routledge, p325
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