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Russian security services said Tuesday that a U.S. CIA officer — allegedly caught with wigs, multiple eyeglasses and spy instructions — was detained in Moscow after allegedly attempting to recruit a Russian intelligence officer.
He was later turned over to the U.S. Embassy.
The Federal Security Service (FSB) said in a statement that Ryan Fogle, a third secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, was carrying not only special technical equipment, including disguises, but a large sum of money in plastic sandwich bags.
According to a letter purportedly carried by Fogle, the potential recruit is promised $100,000 for meeting to discuss further cooperation and up to $1 million a year for information he provides in the future.
The letter, which also spells out how to set up a Gmail account and to contact his handlers, ends with the words: “Thank you for reading this. We look forward to working with you in the nearest future. Your friends.”
State television showed pictures of a man said to be Fogle sitting at a desk in FSB offices.
“The detainee was brought in the reception office of the Federal Security Service and after necessary procedures was handed over to the official representatives of the U.S. Embassy,” the FSB Public Relations Center said in a statement.
RT carried photographs showing Fogle being initially detained. He is wearing a baseball cap, sport shirt and has a backpack slung over his shoulder. A man, apparently a security officer, with his face intentionally blurred in the photograph, stands directly behind.
A second photograph shows him being handcuffed face down on the ground, his blond wig askew under his cap.
Another photograph shows a table filled with what is purportedly spy gear, including a blond and a black wig, three pairs of glasses, a flashlight, a map of Moscow and small plastic bags filled with 500-Euro notes.
The unusual publicity — complete with video and photos — given the arrest is particularly noteworthy, apparently intended either as a warning to the CIA for being too aggressive in its recruitment efforts or to other potential recruits of the risks involved .
No immediate comment was available from the U.S. Embassy.
Editor’s note: Kim Hjelmgaard and Doug Stanglin write for USA Today.