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Official Cover Espionage Bust in Russia

May 15, 2013
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Source: Cryptogon

All countries run intelligence operations out of their embassies. This is the nine-to-five grind of espionage work. If there’s anything noteworthy here, it’s the banality of the whole thing.

When I took an international security studies class in college long ago, this process was described in a massive, gray, subterranean, lecture hall, complete with droning professor, yawning students and an overhead projector. (Maybe that’s why I didn’t bother to post this story—memories of that sleep inducing lecture hall.)

There is a sort of kabuki theater that states run through when a bust goes down (see: persona non grata). For the defunct CIA case officer, it means, board plane back to ‘Merica, take desk job in the DI (Directorate of Intelligence). The end.

Non-official cover take downs are far more interesting, when we hear about them.

Via: CNN:

Wigs, dark glasses, a compass and a large bundle of foreign cash — it’s the stuff of any Cold War-era spy novel.

That’s the “spy arsenal” Russia’s counterintelligence agency says it found with a U.S. diplomat when he was caught allegedly trying to recruit a Russian special services staff member.

The diplomat in question, Ryan Fogle, third secretary of the Political Department of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, was declared “persona non grata” Tuesday.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has demanded his “early expulsion.”

Fogle was detained overnight Monday to Tuesday “during an attempt to recruit a representative of one of the Russian security services,” the Foreign Ministry statement said.

He was briefly held before being handed over to the embassy, following formal protocol, Russia’s counterintelligence agency, the FSB, said earlier.

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