Russia detains U.S. diplomat over spy accusations

UPDATED: Russia releases alleged CIA recruitment letter, which reads like spam

By Natasha Lennard

Published May 14, 2013 3:27PM (EDT)

Updated 12:21 p.m.: According to a Tweet from Russia Today, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) has released a letter allegedly meant for recruiting Russian intelligence agents to aid CIA efforts. It reads remarkably like the sort spam purporting to offer investment opportunities from deposed African princes.

Via RT:


Original post: Russia has detained U.S. diplomat Ryan Fogle, claiming that he is a CIA agent who was caught attempting to recruit Russian intelligence. Fogle's detainment, reminiscent of Soviet era incidents, comes at a time of fraught U.S.-Russian relations. The two nations agreed last week to join together for an international peace conference to address the Syrian civil war. As Reuters reported:

The Federal Security Service (FSB) said Ryan Fogle, a third secretary at the U.S. embassy in Moscow, had been detained overnight carrying "special technical equipment", a disguise, a large sum of money and instructions for recruiting his target. The Russian foreign ministry said it had summoned the U.S. ambassador, Michael McFaul, over the case and a Russian television station published photographs which it said showed Fogle being detained, apparently wearing a blond wig.

The FSB, a successor of the Soviet-era KGB, said Fogle worked for the CIA and had been handed over to embassy officials at some point after his detention. Diplomats accused of espionage are usually expelled or withdrawn.

"On the night of 13-14 May, a staff employee of the CIA, Ryan Christopher Fogle … was detained by counter-espionage organs of the Russian FSB while attempting to recruit an employee of one of the Russian special services," the FSB said. "Recently American intelligence has made multiple attempts to recruit employees of Russian law enforcement organs and special agencies, which have been detected and monitored by Russian FSB counter-intelligence," it said in a statement.


Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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Diplomacy Fsb Russia Ryan Fogle Spy