The controversial circumstances that led to the arrest of Ryan C. Fogle in Moscow, a suspected CIA spy, suggest there is something “fishy” going on between Russia and the US.
Aki Peritz, a former CIA official, believes that the amounts of cash found inside Mr. Fogle’s backpack may hint that the whole operation was set up. “Moscow is the toughest, most saturated counter-intelligence environment in the world,” said Peritz. “It doesn’t feel right that he’s carrying wigs, a bundle of money, a compass, two pairs of sunglasses – at night – and a letter that screams ‘I’m a spy’”
Moreover, an article written by Max Fisher for The Washington Post, claims that the letter found inside Mr. Fogle’s bag was written in an “almost childlike prose.” The sort of letter your email account would classify as spam. In the letter, the alleged spy was hoping to recruit a Russian official with a $1m a year reward. The Washington Post writes:
The plan comes across as a bit rudimentary for the world’s premier spy agency – it explains how to set up a Gmail account – and the instructions include nothing about what information or “expertise” the source is meant to supply. Most suspicious is the risk inherent in typing up such self-incriminating information in an otherwise bland letter, when this could have been easily communicated over the phone or in person.
Mark Galeotti, an espionage expert working at New York University, says Mr Fogle really is a CIA agent but a low-level operative and Russian authorities nabbed him beause of a “political decision made at or near the top.”
However, a Russian daily called Kommersant, which has close ties with the Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB, claims that Fogle was arrested as he was trying to gather information in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings. As The Telegrpah reports, Mr Fogle was seeking information on the Tsarnaev borthers and their ties in the Dagestan region.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the 26-year-old bomber who died in a shootout with the police a week after the twin blasts, had been to the region in 2012. It is possible that US authorities were looking into the contacts he had with the local Islamist group. US authorities have been in the region in April and during the trip it is likely they “obtained the phone numbers of (Russian) Federal Security Service (FSB) agents,” claims Kommersant.
Still, the amount of money the arrested agent was offering was “unusually high.” ”The CIA needed the (Russian) anti-terror agent after the terror attack in the Boston Marathon,” said Komemersant.