By National Archives and Record Administration – Loftis 2016, p. 11, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54428134
Meet Dusko Popov: A Nazi-American Double Agent
Could he have warned Washington about Pearl Harbor?
by Warfare History Network
On March 18, 1941, an accident took place in the crowded streets of New York’s Times Square. Normally an accident like this would not make news. After all, such things happened frequently. This incident, however, was different.
The victim, while lying on the ground, was then run over by a second vehicle, which sped away. The man died the next day in a New York hospital. In his possession was a Spanish passport in the name of Don Julio Lopez Lido. New York police officers traced the man to the Taft Hotel in New York City. Upon searching his room, they were shocked to find secret documents, including a report on the defenses of the U.S. Army base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and nearby Hickam Field. This information was then turned over to the FBI. After a thorough investigation, Don Julio Lopez Lido was identified as Ulrich von der Osten, a top member of Germany’s military intelligence service, the Abwehr, who had been sent to the United States to set up a spy ring.
Unknown to the FBI was that the death of Ulrich von der Osten would lead to another spy case involving Great Britain, the United States, and Germany. It would also involve two of the most influential spymasters in the United States, William Donovan, who would later become director of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which was the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI, as well as the super-secret British XX Committee (or Double Cross System). An added feature of this budding case involved Japanese interest in the defenses of Pearl Harbor, nine months before the attack on December 7, 1941.