Suspected Russian spy found working at US embassy in Moscow

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File photo of Russian police officer patrolling a street in front of the US embassy in Moscow. Photograph: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

 

Exclusive: Russian is understood to have had full access to secret data during decade at embassy

US counter-intelligence investigators discovered a suspected Russian spy had been working undetected in the heart of the American embassy in Moscow for more than a decade, the Guardian has learned.

The Russian national had been hired by the US Secret Service and is understood to have had access to the agency’s intranet and email systems, which gave her a potential window into highly confidential material including the schedules of the president and vice-president. Continue reading

Russian Spy Ring Aimed to Make Children Agents

As the highest ranking officer ever to defect from the Communist Soviet Union, Jan Šejna, once put it:

‘If ever a system totally corrupted its servants, that was and is Communism; and when Communism is imposed by a foreign power as brutal and chauvinist as the Soviet Union, it not only corrupts, it degrades.’

This is exactly what is happening here. Corruption at a young age this threat is difficult to detect because this time around it’s different as they’re homegrown. The Soviet system knows no bounds and will even corrupt the children at a young age, knowing that they’re the most impressionable and least likely to understand the full scope of the ‘grey area’ they’re getting involved in — as opposed being able to identifiy clearly what’s right from wrong (black & white) in a normal situation.

A Russian spy ring busted in the U.S. two years ago planned to recruit members’ children to become agents, and one had already agreed to his parents’ request, according to current and former U.S. officials.

The effort to bring children into the family business suggests the ring was thinking long term: Children born or reared in America were potentially more valuable espionage assets than their parents because when they grew up they would be more likely to pass a U.S. government background check.

Tim Foley was among the children most extensively groomed for a future spy career, officials say. Though he wasn’t American-born, his parents lived in the U.S. for more than a decade, under the assumed names Donald Heathfield and Tracey Foley. Mr. Foley was 20 when his parents were arrested and had just finished his sophomore year at George Washington University in the nation’s capital.

His parents revealed their double life to him well before their arrest, according to current and former officials, whose knowledge of the discussion was based on surveillance by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that included bugging suspects’ homes. The officials said the parents also told their son they wanted him to follow in their footsteps.

He agreed, said the officials. At the end of the discussion with his parents, according to one person familiar with the surveillance, the young man stood up and saluted “Mother Russia.” He also agreed to travel to Russia to begin formal espionage training, officials said.

Full article: Russian Spy Ring Aimed to Make Children Agents (Wall Street Journal)