Russian agent claims Ryan Fogle is not the first CIA agent caught this year

FSB operative claims American was paraded so publicly to teach the United States a lesson

Moscow

The spy in the blond wig, Ryan Fogle, was not the first CIA agent to be caught by Russian security services this year, according to an interview with an anonymous Russian agent aired on state television.

Russia also captured and expelled a “CIA operative” in January, according to the FSB agent. It detained alleged agent Ryan Fogle publicly this week because the Americans did not heed a warning given after the last expulsion to stop their attempts to recruit Russian officers, he claimed.

The US Embassy had no comment on the new allegation, and while the State Department has confirmed that one of its diplomats was detained this week, it has also not commented on the Russian allegations that Mr Fogle, working under cover of Third Secretary of the Political Section at the US Embassy in Moscow, was in fact a CIA agent actively attempting to recruit Russian counterintelligence officers.

Footage of Mr Fogle being berated by plain-clothes FSB interrogators was released to Russian television channels on Tuesday, along with photographs and video footage of a bizarrely old-school array of spying tools, including two wigs, a compass, a map of Moscow and a stack of 500 Euro notes. A photograph of an alleged recruitment letter was also released, typed on a sheet of A4 paper and offering $1m per year for information, and signed off from “your friends”. The FSB claim that Mr Fogle was trying to recruit a counter-terrorism agent working on the volatile North Caucasus.

Russia's state-controlled Channel One broadcast the interview with an FSB agent it said had worked on the case, who had his face blacked out and his voice disguised. The operative said that in the past two years, the CIA had made numerous attempts to recruit Russian agents. He said that Mr Fogle arrived in Russia in spring 2011, and that the Russian security services knew then that he worked for the CIA and kept him under close surveillance. “This was not the first act of espionage in which he was involved,” said the agent.

Russian television also broadcast what it said was Mr Fogle's phone call to his target, in which a heavily accented voice speaking in Russian is demanding a meeting. “It absolutely must be today. Today,” says the voice. “You can earn one million dollars.”

The US Ambassador to Russia spent half an hour at the Foreign Ministry in Moscow. Michael McFaul arrived at the ministry building in Moscow this morning and had talks with Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov. After leaving, he waved at waiting reporters but refused to comment.

President Vladimir Putin has yet to comment on the spy scandal, but one of his key advisers said that the CIA had ignored the positive agreements between Mr Putin and Barack Obama in the wake of the Boston bombings. “The signal sent by the US leadership about constructive cooperation between the security services of Russia and America has gone unheeded by the American agencies,” said Yuri Ushakov. He added that he did not expect the incident to hamper US-Russia relations and said that a meeting between the Director of the CIA and his Russian counterparts could be forthcoming.

Some sketchy information about Mr Fogle began to surface, with reports that he attended Colgate University in New York State. What appears to be his Facebook page is largely closed to public view, but contains a number of photographs apparently from Mr Fogle's international travels, including an Egyptian pyramid, a mosque in Istanbul and St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

Senior Western diplomatic sources last night pointed out that Mr Fogle's position as third secretary in the political section at the US embassy was an entry level post, and expressed surprise that someone relatively inexperienced would be tasked with suborning and recruiting security personnel of another country. One described the items of 'spycraft' found on him including a recruitment letter as “odd, amateurish” and “not something one would have as normal issue”.

However, the diplomats pointed out that the Russians have significantly increased their espionage activity in the West and it was to be expected that the US would be doing the same in Russia. They also acknowledged that the Americans are trying to get their own intelligence on Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

“It's an open question for me whether or not he really was a CIA spy, but the paraphernalia is pretty ridiculous,” said Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University specialising in the Russian security services: “The absolute defining thing for me is the letter, which goes against all the training of the tradecraft. To have something that is so strongly incriminating - you just don't do that. Maybe this is one of the dumbest spies around, but Moscow is a high-profile and relatively hard posting so it's usually somewhere you would send promising agents.” Mr Galeotti suggested that if Mr Fogle really was a spy, the story had been “garnished” to make it more juicy for internal Russian consumption.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect