For those of us who read John Le Carré novels and fancy ourselves to be espionage buffs, the FBI’s dramatic bust of an alleged Russian spy ring last week provided an opportunity to show off our knowledge of terms like dead drops, brush-passes and tradecraft. It also confirmed rumors that Moscow had sharply stepped up its foreign intelligence activities after they practically came to a halt with the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
You’d think that spy-fiction fans like myself would be thrilled by the exposure of 11 alleged Russian secret agents operating under false identities in the northeast United States. And I have to admit that it has been gripping to follow the story as prosecutors and the media have shed light on the methods of the SVR, Moscow’s shadowy foreign intelligence service. Continue reading