June 29, 2010
If you missed Cold War cloak-and-dagger skulduggery, the Russians seem to have pressed that button pretty damn hard...
The FBI accuses the SVR, the successor organisation to the Soviet Union's KGB, of running a network of "illegals", described in court documents as Russians who received training in languages, codes and ciphers, invisible writing and counter-surveillance before living in the United States under false identities.
Each of the 10 was charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison on conviction.
They were alleged to have met US government officials given codenames such as "Farmer", "Parrot" and "Cat" as well as engaging such tried and tested espionage methods as dead drops and brush passes.
The nature of their work was said to have been outlined in a secret message to two of those arrested: "You were sent to USA for long-term service trip.
"Your education, bank accounts, car, house etc – all those serve one goal: fulfil your main mission, i.e. to search and develop ties in policy-making circles in US ..."
This is strangely worded, so I don't really get it, but, um...
A message from alleged conspirators in Boston gave details about a new head of the CIA and the 2008 presidential election gained from a "former legislative counsel for US Congress".
What the hell?
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