A CIA agent operating under the guise of a career diplomat was detained in Moscow after attempting to recruit an officer of the Russian Secret Service, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) announced on Tuesday.
The FSB claims Ryan Christopher Fogle, the third secretary of the Political Section of the American embassy in Moscow, had in his possession “special technical devices, written instructions for the person he was recruiting, a lot of cash, and things to help change one's appearance.”
Pictures of Fogle’s overnight arrest shows he was also carrying two wigs, a microphone, a knife, and three pairs of sunglasses.
Fogle was taken to the FSB receiving office and questioned. In keeping with diplomatic protocol, after his arrest, he was handed over to the U.S. Embassy.
“Recently, the US intelligence service has made repeated attempts to recruit the staff of Russian law enforcement agencies and special services, which were detected and carried out under control of the Russian FSB counterintelligence service,” said the FSB.
The letter Fogle was carrying offered a “friend” $100,000 just to discuss cooperation. Long-term cooperation would pay $1 million a year, as well as bonuses for “some helpful information.”
The letter instructs the recipient to go to an Internet café and open a new Gmail account specifically for contacting, presumably, the CIA. Then the recipient should send correspondence to unbacggdA@gmail.com. It warns not to use a device that could have personal information on it. The letter even offers to reimburse the recipient in the event that they have to pay for a new device “in cash” just for contacting the CIA.
Michael McFaul, U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation, would not comment on the espionage story. The Russian Foreign Ministry has summoned McFaul to explain the incident.