Russian Spy Likely Worked at US Embassy Over 10 Years

Cheryl Sanders
August 9, 2018

A Russian woman who worked inside the U.S. embassy in Moscow for more than ten years has been accused of spying.

While the US Senate Committee on Intelligence continues to probe the role of suspected online hackers who accessed the details of elections to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), "it it is possible that all of the information they needed to get into the system came from the internal breach in the secret service", he said.

The woman was quietly dismissed previous year as the U.S. Secret Service sought to avoid public embarrassment on the matter, the Guardian reported, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to order 750 U.S. diplomatic staff out of Russia served to create a smokescreen for her dismissal.

The State Department alerted the Secret Service, a branch of the Homeland Security Department, in January 2017 and revoked her security clearance in the summer of that year. The dismissal came shortly before a round of expulsions of U.S. personnel demanded by the Kremlin after Washington imposed more sanctions on the country.

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The investigators found out that she kept in contact with FSB officers.

"The U.S. Secret Service recognizes that all Foreign Service Nationals (FSN) who provide services in furtherance of our mission, administrative or otherwise, can be subjected to foreign intelligence influence", the agency said in a statement.

"She did not have access to highly classified information", the official said.

The state department declined to comment on allegations related to the new reports, but said it was aware that "US government employees, by virtue of their employment with the U.S. government, may be targeted by foreign intelligence services ... when we identify an employee in violation of security directives, we take appropriate action at the appropriate time".

"This is of particular emphasis in Russian Federation", the agency added. Now the Secret Service is being accused of trying to cover up this incident rather than making an honest attempt at solving the problem.

"At no time, in any U.S. Secret Service office, have FSNs (Foreign Service Nationals) been provided or placed in a position to obtain national security information", the Secret Service said in a statement.

All non-American workers are vetted and employed by the State Department before being assigned work by different agencies.

The CIA has downplayed the role of the alleged spy, claiming that Russian nationals are hired by the embassy merely for the objective of "translation, interpretation, cultural guidance, liaison and administrative support".

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