Russian security forces have arrested an employee at the American embassy in Moscow, accusing him of recruiting spies for the CIA. The man was identified as Ryan Christopher Fogle, who was officially in Russia to serve as a secretary at the U.S. embassy. The Federal Security Service (FSB) told RT that Fogle was arrested with "special technical equipment," large sums of money, disguises, and a letter intended for a Russian citizen who was being recruited to sell secrets to the U.S.
The FSB released pictures of Fogle's arrest, as well photos of the evidence that they've listed against him. The letter offers $1 million a year to a contact if they agree to give information over to the Americans. It also instructs the source on how to contact the CIA without being traced (using Gmail, of course).
U.S. officials have been silent so far on the matter, but the American ambassador, Michael McFaul, has reportedly been summoned to the Foreign Ministry to discuss the incident. Fogle was reportedly handed back to the U.S. mission after being processed by Russian authorities. (Russia has since ordered for Fogle's expulsion from the country.)
Whether the charges stick or not, the incident won't help relations between the American and Russian intelligence agencies, which have been quietly sparring over the fallout from the Boston Marathon bombing. Despite promises from their leaders of more cooperation in the future, there has been a lot of back-and-forth over who knew what about bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and whether all the information was properly shared (and acted upon) between countries. It's not surprising that the two sides don't fully trust each other, and adding more spies to the mix definitely won't solve that problem.
UPDATE: RT has now posted a video of the Fogle arrest, which feels oddly stage-managed. (And that wig couldn't have been fooling anyone.)
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.