Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

US Diplomat with St. Louis Ties Is Ordered to Leave Russia in Spy Case

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

US Diplomat with St. Louis Ties Is Ordered to Leave Russia in Spy Case

Article excerpt

MOSCOW * A U.S. diplomat with ties to the St. Louis area was ordered Tuesday to leave Russia after the Kremlin's security services said he tried to recruit a Russian agent, and they displayed tradecraft tools that seemed straight from a cheap spy thriller: wigs, packets of cash, a knife, map and compass, and a letter promising millions for "long-term cooperation."

The FSB, the successor agency to the Soviet-era KGB, identified the diplomat as Ryan Fogle, a third secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, detaining him briefly overnight.

Fogle, 29, is a 2002 graduate of Mary Institute and Country Day School in Ladue.

FSB alleged Fogle was a CIA officer trying to recruit a Russian counterterrorism officer who specializes in the volatile Caucasus region in southern Russia, where the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects had their ethnic roots.

Fogle was handed over to U.S. Embassy officials, declared persona non grata and ordered to leave Russia immediately. He has diplomatic immunity, which protects him from arrest.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed that an officer at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow was briefly detained and released.

The State Department would only confirm that Fogle worked as an embassy employee, but would not give any details about his employment record or responsibilities in Russia. Some officials also referred inquiries to the CIA, which declined to comment.

Fogle was the first American diplomat to be publicly accused of spying in Russia in about a decade. While relations between the two countries have been strained, officials in both Washington and Moscow sought to play down the incident.

Meredith Aylward, 29, who graduated with Fogle from MICDS, said she would not have imagined he would grow up to work in a U.S. Embassy overseas.

"I'd see him doing engineering or something like that," she said. "He was definitely friendly but also quiet. He was very studious."

After MICDS, Fogle graduated from Colgate. His parents, James and Pattylynn, live in Clayton.

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul to appear today in connection with the case. …

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