Anna Chapman FBI – Anna Chapman was duped by an undercover FBI agent.
Unaware the Federal Bureau of Investigation has her under surveillance, she was recorded in a New York coffee shop where she meets with someone she thinks is her Russian handler. However, it was really an undercover FBI agent.
Tapes, documents and photos released Monday describe and sometimes show how Anna Chapman and other members of a ring of sleeper spies passed instructions, information and cash. The ring was shut down in June 2010 after a decade-long counterintelligence probe that led to the biggest spy swap since the Cold War.
The FBI released the material to The Associated Press in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The investigation was code-named “Ghost Stories,” the release of documents on Halloween was a coincidence. While the deep-cover agents did not steal any secrets, an FBI counterintelligence official told the AP they were making progress.
They “were getting very close to penetrating U.S. policymaking circles” through a friend of a U.S. Cabinet official, said C. Frank Figliuzzi, FBI assistant director for counterintelligence.
He did not name names, but Russian spy Cynthia Murphy of Montclair, N.J., provided financial planning for venture capitalist Alan Patricof, a political fundraiser with close ties to Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton. The linchpin in cracking the case, apparently, was Col. Alexander Poteyev, a highly placed U.S. mole in Russian foreign intelligence, who betrayed the spy ring even as he ran it.
He abruptly fled Moscow just days before the FBI rolled up the operation. Poteyev’s role emerged when a Russian military court convicted him in absentia for high treason and desertion.
The materials released Monday show Chapman and the other members of Moscow’s 11-member ring of sleeper spies shopping in New York City, sightseeing or apparently just out for a stroll.
The U.S. traded the 10 “Ghost Stories” spies arrested by federal agents for four Russians imprisoned for spying for the West at a remote corner of a Vienna airport on July 9 in a scene reminiscent of the carefully choreographed exchange of spies at Berlin’s Glienicke Bridge during the Cold War.
An 11th suspect, Christopher Metsos, who claimed to be a Canadian citizen and was accused of delivering money and equipment to the sleeper agents, vanished after a court in Cyprus freed him on bail.