MOSCOW (TheBlaz/AP) — Russia’s security services say they have caught a U.S. diplomat who they claim is a CIA agent in a red-handed attempt to recruit a Russian agent.
Ryan Fogle, a third secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, was carrying special technical equipment, disguises, written instructions and a large sum of money when he was detained overnight, the FSB said in a statement Tuesday. Fogle was handed over to U.S. embassy officials, the FSB said.
Russian state television showed pictures of a man said to be Fogle, wearing a baseball cap and what appeared to be a blond wig, lying face down on the ground. The man, now without the wig, was also shown sitting at a desk in the FSB offices. Two wigs and packages of 500 euro notes were among the items displayed on a table.
Russia Today provides some of those pictures via the FSB:
Russia Today also published a copy of the alleged recruitment letter:
Despite the end of the Cold War, Russia and the United States still maintain active espionage operations against each other. Last year, several Russians were convicted in separate cases of spying for the U.S. and sentenced to lengthy prison sentences.
The detention of Fogle, however, appeared to be the first American diplomat accused of spying in about a decade and seemed certain to aggravate already strained relations between the two countries.
No immediate comment was available from the U.S. Embassy. Ambassador Michael McFaul, who was doing a question-and-answer session on Twitter when the detention was announced, said he would not comment.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said it has summoned McFaul to appear on Wednesday in connection with the detention.
In Washington, the White House referred questions about the detained diplomat to the State Department. There was no immediate response from the State Department.