In 2010, Griffin Services, a subsidiary of an English defense contractor, showed up inexplicably in a Google map search of Arnold, Mo.
There has been a lot of jokes lately concerning President Donald Trump’s allegations that British intelligence spied on him at the request of the Obama White House. No evidence so far comes anywhere near confirming his claim.
But there is little doubt that the British secret service operates in the U.S. Moreover, the Brits’ intelligence operations can pop up in the most unexpected of places, far from the corridors of Trump Towers.
In 2010, for example, Washington Post reporter Dana Priest did a mind-blowing series on the number of top-secret U.S. government sites that operate domestically in virtually every state. Her extensive list of classified locations included one in Jefferson County, Mo., which is part of the St. Louis region.
Priest didn’t reveal the name of the agency operating in JeffCo., but did mentioned that it was located in the town of Arnold near a Target store. With some searching I was able to pinpoint the location using Google map.
The site Priest was referring to is the location of the Geospatial Intelligence Agency, formerly referred to as the Defense Mapping Agency. The agency’s presence is no secret in St. Louis, of course. The building of a new facility for agency in North St. Louis has been the subject of public discussions in the last year.
But dig this: In 2010, the Arnold headquarters of the Geospatial Intelligence Agency was listed instead by Google map as being the location of Griffin Services.
Griffin Services it turned out is a subsidiary of a private British intelligence company — VT Group. VT stands for Vosper Thronycroft, which used to be a big British shipbuilder. In 2010, VT Group merged with Babcock International, another spooky private British defense contractor. Babcock is the former Babcock & Wilcox, which built boilers for the British Navy, when the sun never set on the British empire. BWXT Nuclear Operations Group is a subsidiary of Babcock International.
VT Group purchased Atlanta-based Griffin Services in 2001. At that time, Griffin had an estimated $300 million in U.S. government contracts specializing in military facilities management.