May 21, 2007

CIA briefing SEC monthly on terrorists: Barron's

Reuters

Published: Monday, May 21, 2007
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is being briefed monthly by the Central Intelligence Agency about terrorists and other criminals active in global stock markets, Barron's said in its latest edition.

Barron's said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox told the publication he and four other commissioners are briefed each month and that the CIA reports offer the SEC a "somewhat sharper focus" to an "underworld of murky, illegal dealings that threaten the world capital markets."

They are the first regular intelligence briefings for the SEC in history, Barron's said in its May 21 edition.


The trend toward merging of stock exchanges across national boundaries could allow for greater regulatory enforcement in global markets, Barron's said, noting that less-developed securities markets have reported stock trading by terrorists to raise money.

Criminals now intentionally disperse operations across different countries to avoid detection, Barron's said. For instance, residents of Hong Kong, Malaysia, Estonia and Latvia have hacked into U.S. online brokerage accounts and used the proceeds to bid up the price of their own stocks.

The SEC recently asked the CIA for higher security clearances that would provide its commissioners even more highly classified information than they are now receiving in their regular intelligence briefings, the publication said.

SEC officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The CIA had no immediate comment.

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