FBI Breaks Up Russian Spy Ring




 
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FBI Breaks Up Russian Spy Ring
 
June 29th, 2010  
The Other Guy
 
 

Topic: FBI Breaks Up Russian Spy Ring


FBI Breaks Up Russian Spy Ring
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010...ing-deep-cover

Quote:
The FBI has arrested 10 alleged Russian spies and broken up a "long-term, deep cover" network of agents across America's east coast sent to infiltrate policy making circles.
The cracking of the alleged spy ring, the largest discovered in the US since the collapse of communism, came days after Barack Obama praised Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's president, at the White House as a "solid and reliable partner".
In a charge sheet that might have been taken from a cold war thriller, the FBI alleges that the Russian intelligence service, the SVR, had sent the 10 spies, and possibly many more, to live in the US many years ago under false names, with the intent of becoming so Americanised they could gather information without raising suspicion. Some of the agents lived as married couples.
The FBI said that it intercepted SVR messages, sent by "Moscow centre", to two of the accused spies.
"You were sent to USA for long-term service trip. Your education, your bank accounts, car, house, etc all these serve one goal: fulfil your main mission, ie, to search and develop ties in policymaking circles in US and send intels (intelligence reports) to C (Centre)," the intercepted message said, according to the indictment. The FBI does not give any indication as to how successful the alleged agents were.
The arrests were made at Arlington in Virginia, near the Pentagon and CIA headquarters, and in New York, Boston and New Jersey. The justice department said one other alleged spy was being sought.
All the 10 have been charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government. They face up to five years in prison if convicted, although it is possible that more serious charges will be added.
The alleged spies are also accused of money laundering, which carries lengthy prison sentences.
The justice department said the arrests were the result of an FBI investigation over many years. According to testimony of an FBI special agent, Amit Kachhia-Patel, in the indictments of two of the accused: "The FBI has conducted a multi-year investigation of a network of United States-based agents of the foreign intelligence organ of the Russian Federation (the "SVR").
The targets of the FBI's investigation include covert SVR agents who assume false identities, and who are living in the US on long-term, "deep cover" assignments. Those arrested include agents who went by the names Richard and Cynthia Murphy, and Patricia Mills.
"These Russian secret agents work to hide all connections between themselves and Russia, even as they act at the direction and under the control of the SVR," the indictment said.
"These secret agents are typically called 'illegals'... The FBI's investigation has revealed that a network of illegals is now living and operating in the United States in the service of one primary, long-term goal: to become sufficiently "Americanised" such that they can gather information about the US for Russia, and can successfully recruit sources who are in, or are able to, infiltrate United States policy-making circles."
The indictment said the alleged spies used a number of methods to communicate with the SVR, including unique wireless networks to transfer encrypted data. One wireless network was allegedly run from a van in New York that on one occasion parked outside a coffee shop where one of the accused, named as Anna Chapman, was sitting. The FBI says it observed as she established a connection with the wireless link in the van and transmitted data. A few weeks later she did the same from a bookshop.
The FBI said it also observed a car with diplomatic plates registered to the Russian government park outside a Washington DC restaurant where another alleged spy, going by the name Mikhail Semenko, who is still being sought by the authorities, used a computer to establish a connection with a wireless signal from the car. Other information was passed by posting pictures on the internet with text buried in them, as well as traditional means such as drops and "brush pasts" in parks.
Kachhia-Patel described how the FBI set up a sting for Chapman on Saturday by using an agent to pose as a Russian consulate official in New York who needed to pass on a vital package. During the meeting, the FBI said, Chapman discussed the covert laptop communications because she was having technical difficulties. The FBI put Chapman through a charade in which she was asked to deliver a false passport to a supposed agent. Chapman was to signal to the person by holding a magazine in a particular way and staging a seemingly innocuous exchange of greetings.The US authorities also arranged for Semenko to make a drop of $5,000 that he believed was intended for a Russian agent.
Fasten your seat belts everyone, this one's about to get interesting.
June 29th, 2010  
Atasas
 
On one hand- yup! good and agreed!
on the other- seems to be another witch hunt... over years, peeps where sensibly and understandably trying to get in to areas of well paid/power providing positions- what's the crime? can somebody prove, beyond any doubt, that they where really spying?
+ "money laundering" for Fu$K sakes!- dirty tricks perhaps?
Dont get me wrong, I am weary of Russian desperation to be influencing world players, but this time- do have extensive reservations
June 29th, 2010  
HokieMSG
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atasas
On one hand- yup! good and agreed!
on the other- seems to be another witch hunt... over years, peeps where sensibly and understandably trying to get in to areas of well paid/power providing positions- what's the crime? can somebody prove, beyond any doubt, that they where really spying?
+ "money laundering" for Fu$K sakes!- dirty tricks perhaps?
Dont get me wrong, I am weary of Russian desperation to be influencing world players, but this time- do have extensive reservations
Never forget that everyone is spying on everyone. We do it to the Russians, they do it to us.

I think the money laundering law is broad enough that they can use it here. Basically they will pile on as many charges as they can, then after the FBI develops the case a little more, Justice will decide what to prosecute on.

BTW the only difference between us catching Russians and Russians catching US citizens is that you hear about the ones that we catch.
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FBI Breaks Up Russian Spy Ring
June 29th, 2010  
Atasas
 
10 Russian spies caught in US
Quote:
All this was while Medvedev had lunch with Obama LOL
Well, in his defense though, Medvedev would not know anything about this stuff; this is Putin, this is his territory, his job, so to speak, not the President's.
Interesting thought by Prapor, but so far all I can see- "B" line movie scenario being "cooked"...
July 1st, 2010  
Shmack
 
 
According to the Russian media these people were not charged with espionage, because it turned out they didn't manage to spy anything yet or FBI can't find or doesn't want to show any evidence of that. At least to me they certainly don't look like deeply conspiratorial intelligence officers. Very interesting.

July 1st, 2010  
Atasas
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shmack
According to the Russian media these people were not charged with espionage, because it turned out they didn't manage to spy anything yet or FBI can't find or doesn't want to show any evidence of that. At least to me they certainly don't look like deeply conspiratorial intelligence officers. Very interesting.

It does not necessarily mean, they aren't spies, but from what we all where presented so far... anecdotical farce
July 2nd, 2010  
Shmack
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atasas
It does not necessarily mean, they aren't spies, but from what we all where presented so far... anecdotical farce
Who said they aren't spies? What i'm interested in is whether they are just agents or undercover intelligence officers.
July 4th, 2010  
mmarsh
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shmack
Who said they aren't spies? What i'm interested in is whether they are just agents or undercover intelligence officers.
Ill say it. For one thing they haven't been charged with espionage, they have been charged with being undeclared foreign agents, not spies. In other words the failed to explain who they were and who they were working for. If these people had been openly working for the Russian Government, they couldn't have been charged with anything.

1. As Hokie stated, everyone spies on each other. Thats absolutely true. This group sounds more like "intelligence collectors" not spies. The difference is that people who gather intelligence do so from sources that are freely available to the public. All countries do this, and in fact its even tolerated to a degree.

2. These "spies" were pretty low-level. For one thing not one of them had access to anything classified. They didn't work for the US government, they were not in procession of any classified material or equipment, they were not evesdropping or bugging anything. They were simply deep cover agents who were most likely collecting information about us. In fact the only thing we know about them is that they are Russians citizens hiding in the US under false names and that their bills were paid the Russian government. Thats all the government has on them.

3. There is something about this situation that smells funny. I think this "arrest" has more to to with behind the scenes politics than counter-intelligence. I think the US has sent Russia a message and this was the form it took. Neither government seems terribly worried about the situation. This group is not another Hanson, Ames, or Pollard. For one thing, if they really were spies they were pretty bad ones. The Government states that they communicated with each other openly. Well for that to be true either the FSB standards have slipped drastically or this is pure BS. Any intelligence operative will tell you that agents are almost never in contact with other agents. Its usually one agent and one handler. This way if either of the two get pinched, they don't have any information that could be coericed out of them and that would give away the rest of the operation.

The methods the government states they used include dropoff mailboxes, invisible ink, even wireless radios. This is all pretty low-tech stuff. I dont think the FSB is that far outdated. I am sure the FSB has the same toys that the CIA uses. This is basic pre-cold war spycraft 101, and these goons didn't seem to get it.
July 4th, 2010  
A Can of Man
 
 
Yeah... the whole thing kinda seems a bit weird.
 


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