this is a discussion within the Poli-Sci Community Forum; MOSCOWóRussian authorities on Tuesday expelled an American they accused of being a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency officer operating under diplomatic cover in Moscow, alleging that he attempted to recruit a member of the Russian intelligence services involved in antiterrorism work. ...
||LinkBack||Thread Tools||Display Modes|
|05-14-2013, 03:06 PM||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cypress Tx.
Russia to Expel U.S. Diplomat
MOSCOWóRussian authorities on Tuesday expelled an American they accused of being a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency officer operating under diplomatic cover in Moscow, alleging that he attempted to recruit a member of the Russian intelligence services involved in antiterrorism work. AP Photo/FSB Public Relations Center This photo provided by Russia's Federal Security Service claims to show Ryan Fogle, an American diplomat that Russia has accused of being an undercover CIA officer attempting to recruit a member of the Russian intelligence services.
Ryan C. Fogle, the third secretary in the political section at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, was detained in the night hours stretching from Monday to Tuesday and subsequently released to U.S. diplomats, Russia's Federal Security Service said in a statement. The FSB alleged that Mr. Fogle had called his would-be target, offering a payoff of Ä100,000 ($130,000) for cooperation. After an initial refusal, the would-be target agreed to meet on a second call, the FSB said.
Mr. Fogle was detained near a Moscow park around 11:30 p.m. Monday wearing a wig and carrying "special technical equipment," materials for a disguise and "a large sum" of cash, the FSB said.
The CIA and U.S. State Department declined to comment.
Russia's Federal Security Service released a photograph of a letter that allegedly contains instructions on spying for the U.S.. The authenticity of the photos and note released by the FSB couldn't be independently verified.
The U.S. and Russia have sent spies to each other's countries for decades, even in the 20 years since the Cold War ended. Review some recent cases.
The expulsion comes at a sensitive time for the White House, which has sought in recent weeks to rebuild frayed ties with Moscow. A key element of those efforts has been cooperating on antiterrorism efforts in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, whose alleged perpetrators had roots in Russia's Caucasus Mountain region.
In announcing the allegations on Tuesday, the FSB said the would-be target was a Russian security officer responsible for fighting Islamist terrorists in that region.
"The U.S. intelligence community recently has made repeated attempts to recruit employees of Russia's law-enforcement bodies and secret services, which have been recorded and monitored by [Russia's] counterespionage agencies," the FSB said.
"At first, we couldn't believe it happened," an unnamed FSB officer told U.S. Embassy officials who had come to pick up Mr. Fogle after his detention, according to a video released by the FSB. "Because you know that recently the FSB has been actively helping with the investigation of the explosions in Boston," he said. "Against this background, when relations between our countries are strengthening, an American diplomat commits in our view a state crime against the Russian Federation."
The degree of that cooperation, and the recent trajectory of the bilateral relation, remains open to debate. The diplomatic incident comes less than a week after the White House and the Kremlin attempted to patch up a damaged relationship with a high-level meeting between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The U.S. is seeking the Kremlin's help in ending the protracted war in Syria, a bid that was frustrated when the Kremlin announced a few days after Mr. Kerry's departure that it would go ahead with the sales of advanced antiaircraft missiles to Syria. Western and regional officials have said these weapons could provide a large boost to President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
The U.S. has also been searching for tidbits from Russia about the activities of alleged Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev during his six-month trip to Russia last year. While Moscow and Washington have announced they are cooperating on the investigation, officials in Russia have been giving contradictory information about what they knew about Mr. Tsarnaev.
President Vladimir Putin and top security officials say Russia had no meaningful information, but officials in Dagestan say Mr. Tsarnaev was tracked closely.
Mr. Fogle's detention, which led the nightly newscasts on state television, was the first expulsion of a U.S. diplomat from Russia on espionage charges since the early 2000s. Russia's Foreign Ministry blasted an act it said was in "the spirit of the Cold War" and "raises serious questions for the American side."
But the damage to the broader relationship was likely to be limited, according to one prominent Russian lawmaker.
"The spy scandal around the American diplomat will be short-lived in my view," according to a post from the Twitter account of Alexei Pushkov, the chairman of the International Affairs Committee in Parliament, who is known for his often critical statements on U.S. policy. "It won't harm the Lavrov-Kerry talks but it won't improve the atmosphere," another post read, referring to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
The FSB released photos it said showed Mr. Fogle after his detention, as well as physical evidence the FSB said it had recovered. The authenticity of these couldn't otherwise be verified.
One image shows a table strewn with the items that the FSB said it recovered from Mr. Fogle's detention. On the table are two wigs, three pairs of glasses, three Ziploc bags filled with thousands of euros, a microphone, a compass, a knife and an RFID Shield, a sleeve that protects passports and credit-cards with computer chips from being read remotely.
The FSB also released a photo of a note for the would-be recruit that it alleged Mr. Fogle had been carrying.
Written in Russian that appeared to be that of a nonnative speaker, the note was addressed "Dear Friend" and signed "Your Friends." The note promised $100,000 to discuss the would-be recruit's experience and "much more" if the recruit proved willing to answer specific questions of interest.
"In addition, for long-term cooperation, we offer up to $1 million a year with the promise of additional bonuses for information that will help us," the note read.
The note instructed the would-be recruit to communicate with U.S. handlers via a Gmail account accessed either from a public Wi-Fi network or an Internet cafe.
The FSB also released a photo that appeared to show Mr. Fogle being handcuffed on the ground while wearing a baseball cap, a light-blue checked shirt and a dirty-blonde wig. The series of photos also included an image of what appeared to be Mr. Fogle's U.S. Embassy identification card and another of his official Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs diplomatic card. The diplomatic card was set to expire on April 29, 2014, three years after its issue date.
Reached by phone at her home in St. Louis, Mr. Fogle's mother, Patty Fogle, said, "I have nothing to say."
Phil Harris, who said he is a friend of Mr. Fogle's in the St. Louis area, said he last saw Mr. Fogle around the December holidays and that they played poker and shot shotguns together. Mr. Harris said Mr. Fogle spoke little about his job, though he had talked about working closely with Russian officials. Friends would sometimes rib Mr. Fogle about his discretion over his job, Mr. Harris said.
"He worked for the government and he did something he didn't talk about, really," Mr. Harris said.
A Facebook FB +0.62% page bearing Mr. Fogle's name indicated that he was slated to come back to the U.S. soon. An April 11 posting read: "Countdown to America: 43 days, 2 hours, and 33 minutesÖbut who's counting."
Russia's Foreign Ministry summoned U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul for an urgent meeting to discuss Mr. Fogle's detention.
Mr. McFaul declined to comment on the matter in a Twitter question-and-answer session Tuesday.
The expulsion of Mr. Fogle comes almost three years after the U.S. exposed a network of Russian sleeper operatives that included the redheaded Anna Chapman, who later returned to Russia to become a model and minor celebrity.
Russia to Expel U.S. Diplomat - WSJ.com
I'm your huckleberry