The sources, one recently retired and two current special forces soldiers (who did not want to be named for about 37 blazingly obvious reasons) have served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In separate interviews they said that the correspondent has been blasted out of sticky situations by elite forces on more than one occasion, with loss of life, because of his military intelligence role. "We don't do that for just journalists," said one. "It's widely known [within the unit the source serves] that he is intelligence."
They did not know whether his employers are aware that the reporter moonlights as James Bond. They may not be - which is somewhat forgivable as he's probably a subterfuge professional. But one would assume his editors are curious as to why he gets extra care and attention from highly trained men with guns when he's in trouble. If there is some kind of tacit approval, it's a stupendous conflict of interest. Not to mention the extra risk the organization's other journalists on the ground would face if he was unmasked (which is the main reason we're keeping this item blind).
The fourth estate and the intelligence services have been linked before. (They're also connected because spies are well known for cutting eye holes in newspapers so they can secretly look at stuff while appearing to read.) If you've heard anything that corroborates, or indeed makes a mockery of, our information send it here. For example: maybe you've noticed that one of your colleagues turns up to work in an Aston Martin and rappels through a window to get to his desk.
As a bonus the retired soldier, a chatty fellow, also added that "Western governments" frequently circumnavigate their claim they don't negotiate with terrorists by hiring security companies to do it for them. A specialist for a firm that offers "K&R" – Kidnapping and Ransom expertise – confirmed off the record that the company had recently been employed in just such a capacity recently. He wouldn't specify which country. But I bet it's not Belgium.