The Pentagon has created the world’s largest undercover force comprised of about 60,000 people who work at name-brand companies under false identities, Newsweek reported Monday.
The Pentagon’s secret army: Shadowy 60K-strong undercover force is operating across the globe https://t.co/Vg1L97wZnq
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) May 18, 2021
These spies carry out their work in made-up personas under a program called “signature reduction,” Newsweek reported. While “signature reduction” does not have an unclassified definition, the Defense Intelligence Agency said it applies to “operational security (OBSEC) measures for a variety of activities and operations,” according to Newsweek.
A Department of Defense spokesperson told Newsweek “signature reduction” includes “measures to protect operations.”
Members of this force, which is about 10 times the size of the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) clandestine operations, participate in domestic and foreign assignments — in-person and online — in military uniforms and civilian garb at private businesses and at consulting firms, according to Newsweek. (RELATED: Repair Shop Owner Who Leaked Hunter Biden Data Says He Is Not A Russian Spy)
The soldiers, civilians and contractors work under false identities to pursue high-value targets, according to Newsweek. About 130 companies participate in the “signature reduction” program that costs about $900 million, Newsweek reported.
The companies draw in $900 million in total each year to supply the force, according to Newsweek. The civilians have manufactured disguises, pay their taxes under assumed names, and use devices to obtain information in the Middle East and Africa, Newsweek reported.
Newsweek reportedly obtained this information over the past two years by investigating more than 600 resumes and 1,000 job postings, requesting Freedom of Information Act documents and interviewing participants and defense officials. Little is known about this unregulated sector of the Pentagon, and Congress has never held a hearing on the matter, according to Newsweek.