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Concept.png Legend Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
The cover identity or cover story for a spy or intelligence operative

A legend is the cover identity or cover story for a spy or intelligence operative, with his or her claimed background or biography, usually supported by documents and memorized details.[1]


A spy often needs a cover to conceal his true identity. It can be as simple as just the use of a fake name. A legend is the term for a very sophisticated cover. Creating a legend means creating an entire false life.

This technique starts with false names, documents, and addresses. In an internet-reliant world, intelligence operative can rely on a LinkedIn entry, a plain vanilla credit rating, or a dormant Facebook account, all with enough detail to be plausible but with too little distinctive material to make a serious check possible.[2]

Typical cover identities include occupations like businessman, journalist, diplomat or NGO-worker or volunteer[3] While normally used for operations abroad, the concept is just as valid for internal espionage, such as agents provocateurs and police infiltrators.

Some politicians -for example Barack Obama - have so synthetic CVs that their background most likely are cover stories.

Sheep dipping

Full article: Stub class article Sheep dipping

Sheep dipping is the creation of a legend in order to facilitate someone's use as a patsy.


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Decoding Edward Jay Epstein's 'LEGEND'Wikispooks PageRobin RamsayRobin Ramsay claims that Edward Jay Epstein's Legend is disinformation.
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