Weapons from the
World of Spycraft and Espionage
by Justin Black
The study of espionage is an endlessly fascinating subject. It’s a practice that is as old as human society, and how it is conducted reveals much about the nations, agencies, and people that are involved.
One of the darkest sides of espionage is covert action. oftentimes an agency or government isn’t content to merely observe and report on international developments; they also want to steer those developments in a manner that benefits them, to the detriment of their target. Because of the covert nature of these activities, many intelligence agencies have developed unique and fiendish weapons that can either kill silently, or be disguised as an innocuous item, or both. This type of covert action has been described differently by those who use it. The Russians call it mokroye delo, or “wet work”. The CIA at one point used the euphemism “terminate with extreme prejudice”. but whatever it’s called, the act of covert assassinations has been used extensively throughout history.
Collected here are dozens of the fascinating weapons used in clandestine operations, along with the history of their development, deployment, and use in real world operations, where such information has come to light. Some of these designs were built and tested but found to be insufficient for operational use, while others were used all over the world to great, and terrible, effect, and became mainstays of covert operations within their respective organizations.
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