Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Russia Arrests US Diplomat Accused of Spying

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Russia Arrests US Diplomat Accused of Spying

Article excerpt

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) says it caught a CIA spy in Moscow who was posing as a US diplomat and trying to recruit a top Russian security officer with promises of up to $1 million a year.

The FSB's public relations center released details along with several photographs of the arrest Monday of the man it identified as Ryan Christopher Fogle, who it said was accredited in Russia as third secretary in the political department of the US embassy in Moscow. According to Russian media reports, the US embassy has so far declined to make any comment on the case. Mr. Fogle is set to be expelled from the country.

The FSB claims that it caught Mr. Fogle red-handed, with "special technical devices, written instructions for the Russian citizen being recruited, a large sum of cash and means of changing his appearance."

Fogle's spy paraphernalia, photos of which were released by the FSB, include his official diplomatic ID's, two different wigs, three pairs of glasses, a map of Moscow, and a folding knife.

The FSB claims he was in possession of a letter, addressed to the targeted Russian security official, which promised $100,000 -- the cash, in 500 euro notes, was also seized -- for an interview to discuss his qualifications, with a salary of up to $1 million a year "for long term cooperation, with extra bonuses if we receive some helpful information."

Experts say this is the first high-profile arrest of a US diplomat on spying allegations since the late Soviet era, although nobody thinks the former cold war spy games between Moscow and Washington ever ended. Three years ago several Russians accused of spying for the US were exchanged, amid a glaring public spotlight, for a group of 10 alleged Russian secret service moles who had been uncovered in the US.

Spy money

Some of those alleged spies, especially the flame-haired femme fatale Anna Chapman, subsequently defied the old KGB dictum that exposed spies should disappear from view and launched high-profile public careers. …

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