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FBI's 'spy novel' claims against Russians

Mark Mardell | 21:50 UK time, Monday, 28 June 2010

The allegations read like a spy novel. The FBI says highly trained Russian secret agents were sent to live under deep cover in the United States in the 1990s, living as married couples. Their task was to infiltrate policy-making circles. Among their successes were getting close to a scientist involved in designing bunker-busting bombs and a top former intelligence official.

Moscow Centre - Russia's intelligence headquarters - allegedly asked them for information on Washington's perception of Russian foreign policy, Iran's nuclear programme and Obama's intentions at a summit last year and what he intended to offer Russia to "lure" it into co-operation.

It is said they communicated with the spy masters in Moscow by posting apparently innocent pictures on the internet which contained detailed texts. They also used special radio signals and computer technology. The FBI observed older techniques as well, money buried next to a beer-bottle marker, and "brush pasts" in the park.

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