A guest post by Lt. Col. Chris Simmons:
Cuba’s “NSA” Suspected of Aiding North Korea
By Chris Simmons
Intelligence sharing between Cuba and North Korea has likely spiked following the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. Unlike the broad intelligence sharing agreements Havana has with Moscow and Beijing, Cuba’s support to Pyongyang is narrowly focused on US Special Operations Forces (SOF), particularly those supporting Seoul. Washington and both Koreas have long viewed Special Operations as the force of choice in a shooting war, especially during the decisive early days of a conflict.
Cuba’s Directorate of Military Intelligence (DIM) runs a signals intercept site at Bejucal, which has long served as the hub for targeting US SOF. It easily covers all high-value military targets in the US, especially those in the southeastern states. The Pentagon, meanwhile, is especially vulnerable to Cuban targeting, given its proximity to the suspected covert signals intercept site within the Cuban Interest Section in Washington.
Primary US SOF units targeted by Cuba’s “NSA” include:
- SEAL Team 6, Little Creek Virginia.
- US Army Special Forces Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
- US Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
- Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
- 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Stewart, Georgia.
- 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
- US Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.
- US Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Florida.
For its unique relationship with North Korea, Cuba’s DIM would also target the Army’s 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Lewis, Washington and the National Guard’s 19th SFGA headquartered at Draper, Utah. Regionally aligned like all SFGAs, these units focus on Korea and other Asian-Pacific nations.
The flow of intelligence traffic is most likely split between the North Korean Embassy in Havana and the Cuban Embassy in Pyongyang. The latter Embassy is headed by Ambassador German Hermin Ferras Alvarez and hosts Military Attaché Leonardo Perez Mesa, one of a handful of Cuban Military Attachés in the world. To speed the shipment of this highly perishable intelligence, Havana is suspected of sending the critical intelligence to whichever Embassy hosts the larger and more reliable bandwidth. The other Embassy would receive the less sensitive and routine intelligence, mitigating the impact of the less timely delivery.
A retired spy-catcher, Chris Simmons is an internationally known expert on Cuban intelligence.