Total Pageviews

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Video of American’s Arrest in Moscow

As my colleague Ellen Barry reports from Moscow, Russia’s Federal Security Service, the successor to the Soviet-era K.G.B., announced Tuesday that it had arrested a Central Intelligence Agency officer posing as an American diplomat as he tried to recruit a Russian agent.

The Russian intelligence agency released photographs and video of the arrest to Russia Today, a satellite news channel whose broadcasts in English, Arabic and Spanish are financed by the Kremlin.

Video released by Russia’s Federal Security Service on Tuesday showing the arrest of Ryan Fogle, an American accused of working for the Central Intelligence Agency.

According to the broadcaster’s report, Russian intelligence said it had detained the American, identified as Ryan Christopher Fogle, “in the act of trying to recruit a Russian special service agent, a counterterrorism agent working in the North Caucuses, to try and work for the C.I.A.” Russia’s security services have been battling an insurgency in the North Caucuses, where the brothers accused of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings have roots, for two decades.

The report also showed items the Russian intelligence service said it had seized from Mr. Fogle, including two wigs, a compass, a large amount of cash and written instructions for the would-be recruit explaining how to contact his American handlers. Russia Today, also known as RT, provided an English translation of the written instructions supposedly found on Mr. Fogle.

The arrest was announced just as the American ambassador in Moscow, Michael McFaul, started answering questions from the public on Twitter, but he refused a request to comment on the affair submitted by a reporter for a publication in Moscow.

A short time later, Russia’s foreign ministry did address the episode on Twitter, saying that Mr. Fogle was being expelled from the country.

Russia Today’s report suggested that the supposed plot bore “the hallmarks of a cold war spy thriller,” but Western spies have been publicly unmasked on Russian television in the more recent past. In 2006, state television broadcast grainy black-and-white video showing a British diplomat picking up a fake rock concealing what the F.S.B. called a communications device used to download and transmit classified information through hand-held computers.

A video report from Euronews last year, after a British official admitted that a fake rock had been used by spies working in Moscow in 2006.

Last year, Jonathan Powell, who served as chief of staff to Tony Blair, Britain’s prime minister at the time, confirmed for the first time that Russian claim was accurate. “The spy rock was embarrassing,” Mr. Powell told the BBC, but “they had us bang to rights.”