Ryan Fogle, a secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, was a CIA agent trying to recruit a Russian counterterrorism officer, Russian officials said. The CIA declined to comment.
BY DANIEL BEEKMAN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
PUBLISHED: TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2013, 7:40 AM
His spy games are over.
Russia ordered an American diplomat to leave the country Tuesday after accusing him of working in Moscow as a spy — and plying his espionage trade in a cheesy blond wig.
Ryan Fogle, a secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, was a CIA agent trying to recruit a Russian counterterrorism officer, Russian officials said.
The FSB — successor to the Cold War KGB — blew his cover Tuesday, showing off a strangely amateurish secret agent tool box that included wigs, packets of cash, a knife, a map and compass and a letter that promised millions of dollars for “long-term cooperation,” with instructions for communicating via a gmail account.
The Russian officer Fogle was accused of trying to recruit specializes in the Caucasus region.
The heavily Muslim area includes the territories of Chechnya and Dagestan, where the Boston Marathon bombers had ties.
The Russians held Fogle briefly overnight but were unable to arrest him because he was covered by diplomatic immunity.
He was the first American diplomat publicly accused of spying in Russia in a decade. Last year, several Russians were convicted of spying for the U.S. And in 2010, a ring of Russian spies living in the U.S. were nabbed, including so-called femme fatale Anna Chapman.
The U.S. State Department confirmed that the accused spy worked at the embassy but offered no details about his record or responsibilities in Russia.
The CIA declined to comment. But Russian officials were indignant about the incident at a time when they and the U.S. are working together to fight terrorism.
“Such provocative actions in the spirit of the Cold War do nothing to strengthen mutual trust,” the Russian foreign ministry said.
Russian state TV showed photos of a man identified as Fogle wearing a baseball cap over an unconvincing blond wig.
Experts panned the amateurish disguise.
“If this is genuine, then it’ll be seen to be appallingly bad tradecraft,” said Mark Galeotti, a New York University professor who studies Russian security services.
“He would have had to have been pretty stupid.”
With News Wire Services.