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Global Intelligence
Spy Words,
Codes & Terms
Home Spy Words, Terms and Codes
Here is a reference resource for all those spy codes and covert talk.

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  • PARALLEL-LINE/INCIDENTAL-CAPACITANCE a method of telephone, telex, and communications eavesdropping that is virtually undetectable.
  • PAROLES - passwords to identify agents to each other.
  • PATTERN - the behavior and daily routine of an operative that makes his or her identity unique.
  • PAVEMENT ARTIST outdoor surveillance specialist operating on foot.
  • PEEP photographer.
  • PERIMETER SURVEILLANCE is used to alert the surveillance team when the target enters or leaves a specific area.
  • PETN Pentaery-thritol tetranitrate, a plastic explosive favored by intelligence agencies and security services. See mercury fulminate.
  • PFLP an underground group in Palestine.
  • PHOTINT acronym for photo intelligence.
  • PIG - Russian intelligence term for traitor.
  • PICKET SURVEILLANCE focuses on times and places when target is likely engaged in activities of interest to the surveillance team. Also called chokepoint surveillance. Named after the openings in a picket fence.
  • PICKUP when the target of a surveillance operation is first spotted inside the stakeout box.
  • PINHOLE CAMERA video camera with fiber-optic lens attachment.
  • PLAINTEXT -: the original message before encryption.
  • PLAYBACK - to provide false information to the enemy while gaining accurate information from him or her.
  • POCKET LITTER - items in a spy's pocket (receipts, coins, theater tickets, etc.) that add authenticity to his or her identity.
  • POSSE COMITATAS a Latin phrase that loosely means power of the people.
  • PROBLEM-SOLVING MATRIX a grid-based notation system used by police investigators and counterespionage officers when dealing with complex cases.
  • PRODUCT finished intelligence that has been evaluated by an intelligence agency and is ready for distribution to consumers. Also see CONSUMER.
  • PROFESSIONAL-NAME nom de guerre of a spy.
  • PROFILE STOP a random stop and search by police, based on a suspect's race, minority status, economic status, religion, physical appearance, travel status, location, etc. Previously inflicted on minorities and poor whites, but currently being expanded by bureaucrats to include all US citizens.
  • PROFILING - Stereotyping a group or "type" of person to assess potential dangers, suspects
  • PROVOCATEUR -  an operative sent to incite a target group to action for purposes of entrapping or embarrassing them.
  • PSB one of China's secret police agencies.
  • PSIA one of Japan's security services.
  • PSYCHIC COMBAT a condition of active psychological warfare operations between two covert adversaries.
  • PSYCHODYNAMICS the CIA's psychological profiling system, used in combination with psychobiographic analysis.
  • QUANG BO Vietnam's military intelligence agency.
  • QODS One of Iran's security services.
  • QRF quick reaction force.


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