In the United States alone, one expert estimates that there are about 100,000 foreign agents working for at least 60 to 80 nations — all spying on America.
“That’s not paranoia — that’s a good guess,” said Chris Simmons, a retired counterintelligence supervisor for the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, appearing on CNN’s “Declassified.”
It all sounds very much like the exciting Hollywood dramas set during the Cold War with Soviet spies pretending to be harmless citizens — like F/X’s popular TV series “The Americans.”
Authorities warn that spies in America are not a thing of the past.
“More than two decades after the end of the Cold War, Russian spies still seek to operate in our midst under the cover of secrecy,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement last March.
Bharara was referring to a case in New York City against a man who pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as an unregistered Russian agent.
Evgeny Buryakov, 41, posed as an employee in the Manhattan office of a Russian bank. He entered the United States and stayed as a private citizen, the Justice Department said.
Buryakov gathered “intelligence on the streets of New York City, trading coded messages with Russian spies who send the clandestinely collected information” to Russia’s foreign intelligence agency, the SVR, Bharara said. According to court documents, Buryakov was “receiving taskings from Moscow.”
He reportedly was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.
The FBI gathered some of the evidence in the case with basic techniques that might seem ripped from spy dramas.
Read More CNN
Featured Image – Newsweek