Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How the FBI Busted Anna Chapman and the Russian Spy Ring


abcnews.go.com


Anna Chapman is a television star and lingere model back in Moscow now, but before she and other Russian spies were caught by the FBI last year, they came dangerously close to accomplishing a portion of their undercover mission in the United States.

“This group was well on their way to penetrating foreign policy circles.  They had befriended a friend of a sitting Cabinet official,” FBI Counter Intelligence Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi said. “They wanted to get their hands on the most sensitive data they could get their hands on, but we took this thing down before classified information changed hands.”
In a wide-ranging interview with ABC News, Figliuzzi said the red-headed Chapman was much more than a seductive “femme fatale.”
“This is a highly-trained intelligence officer — Chapman is new breed of illegal operative,”  Figliuzzi said, describing her as “tech savvy” and capable of spying in plain sight. Chapman and her comrades were “the cream of the crop, handpicked out of the Russian intelligence academy, because of their fluency in languages, and their ability to acclimate into another society,” he said.
FBI hidden camera surveillance videos of the spies’ operations give a fascinating look into Russian spy tradecraft as employed by Chapman and the other Russian agents.   The videos show, among other things,  the Russian infiltrators hiding messages under bridges, secretly trading information, money and contact information via “brush passes,” and digging for buried payoff money in the woods.

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