'American CIA agent' detained in Moscow

2013-05-14 15:04

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Moscow - Russia on Tuesday said it had detained an alleged American CIA agent working undercover at the US embassy who was discovered with a large stash of money as he was trying to recruit a Russian intelligence officer.

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB, ex-KGB) identified the man as Ryan C Fogle - third secretary of the political section of Washington's embassy in Moscow - and said he had been handed back to the embassy after his detention.

In the latest espionage scandal that risks rocking US-Russia relations at a sensitive time, the Russian foreign ministry said it was summoning US ambassador Michael McFaul on Wednesday to provide an explanation.

Photographs published by state English language television RT showed Fogle being held to the ground face down and having his hands put behind his back for the arrest.

He was then shown being questioned at the Federal Security Service while documents such as his passport and a stack of €500 notes along with some letters were displayed.

Pictures were also shown of his alleged espionage equipment including wigs, a compass, torch and even a mundane atlas of Moscow as well as a somewhat old fashioned mobile phone.

Caught red handed

The FSB said in statement carried by Russian news agencies that Fogle was carrying "special technical equipment, written instructions for recruiting a Russian citizen, a large sum of money and means for changing a person's appearance".

The statement added that "recently, the US intelligence service has made repeated attempts to recruit the staff of Russian law enforcement agencies and special services, which were detected and carried out under control of the Russian FSB counter-intelligence service".

The Russian news agency reports said the suspected agent had been caught red-handed trying to recruit an employee of one of the Russian security services.

It is not clear what will now happen to Fogle but normal practice in Russia would be for him to be declared persona non grata and ordered to leave within 48 hours or less.

The incident comes amid a new chill in Russian-US relations sparked by the Syrian crisis and concern in Washington over what it sees as President Vladimir Putin's crackdown on human rights.

The last major spy row between the two former Cold War rivals involved the glamorous Anna Chapman and 10 other Russian spies arrested in the US in 2010.

Bumbling amateurs

The spy scandal - which ended with a swap of the 10 sleepers and four Russians convicted of spying for the West - was a huge embarrassment for Russia's foreign intelligence at the time.

Several of the spies were portrayed by the press as bumbling amateurs who had accomplished little through careers that in some cases stretched back to the Soviet era.

On Tuesday, the FSB and Russia's tightly-controlled state media appeared intent on showing to the public that the man it had caught was a real agent who posed a danger to Russia's interests.

The photos published by RT also showed a document entitled "printed instructions for the Russian citizen being recruited".

Parts of the recruiting document allegedly used by Fogle read: "Dear Friend. This is an advance from somebody who is impressed with your professionalism, and who would value highly your future co-operation with us."

The document added that the US government was willing to pay $100 000 outright. "Payment can be much higher if you are ready to answer specific questions," it added.

"Besides, we offer up to $1 million per year for long-term co-operation, with a promise for an additional bonus for information that will help us."

McFaul - who was doing a question-and-answer session with Russians on his Twitter account at the time the news broke - tweeted "No" when asked if he could comment on the incident.

Read more on:    us  |  russia  |  espionage

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.