Bugs in the Sudan
Bugging and eavesdropping are not isolated to a select group of people; anyone anywhere can get their hands on a bugging device and use it against someone else. And this does not happen only in America, either. In the Sudan, it has been revealed that intelligence agents for the current Sudanese government administration has blocked or prevented several publications from publishing a particular story. The story has been blocked by intelligence because it concerns the bugging of the offices of a political opponent, which was implemented by the intelligence officers and the administration for which they work. Who knows what kinds of secrets they could have stolen? The story came to light when several editors began releasing public statements about the incident.
Four representatives of various Sudanese newspapers attended the late Sunday press conference by the Islamist opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi; however, no articles or stories have been published on what was sure to have been a major story. Adil al-Baz, chief editor of Al-Ahdath, said that the reason no story was publish was because he was given an order from an intelligence officer “not to publish it.”
Another newspaper publication, Al Tayar, put Turabi’s intended to make the story of the allegations a front pager article. However, during the printing of the paper, an intelligence officer arrived and gave them a direct order to halt printing and to get rid of the story. This was revealed in a statement by Al Tayar’s chief editor, Osman Mirghani.
“Then we offered to change the first page… but he refused, and he decided to take all the copies,” Mirghani said. Mirghani, however, thought that the censorship was linked to another few recent articles about his government’s corruption, not to the article involving Turabi and the bugging of his offices.
At the news conference on Sunday, Turabi was able to provide exact evidence that his office had been bugged. He showed the attendants of the conference three short sets of wire, each of which were connected to a plastic or metal box. He claimed that they were bugging devices, and that they were found in a few of the electrical sockets in the offices of the Popular Congress Party headquarters on the preceding Sunday.
“I accuse the security service directly,” said Turabi, a former mentor who became one of President Omar al-Bashir’s fiercest critics.
Turabi said his party became suspicious of the security service after intelligence agents claimed to have an internal party analysis about Sudanese politics. The party was not aware of that report, so they began a sweep of their offices for any kind of electronics bugging device, which is how they found the small boxes.
The intelligence officers accused Turabi and his party of being involved in a government coup to overthrow al-Bashir, the current president. In response, Turabi released the following statement:
“We don’t have many secrets, and have already announced the goal of removing the regime. Our plan is not to remove it by military means but through a popular revolution.”