FBI releases papers on Russian Irish spies in US - ‘Ghost Stories’
Spies used Irish passports to conceal identities
The FBI has released videos and documents relating to the Russian spies who used Irish passports to conceal their identities.
After a decade-long probe that resulted in the biggest spy swap since the Cold War, the Russian spy ring was shut down in June 2010.
The FBI released the material to the Associated Press in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The documents show the investigation was code-named “Ghost Stories”.
The name of the operation stems from a spy technique known as "dead doubles", where they use the identities of people who have died. Tracey Lee Ann Foley, Michael Zottoli, Donald Heathfield, and Patricia Mills all used the technique.
An FBI counterintelligence official told the AP that the spies were slowly making progress in gathering intelligence.
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They "were getting very close to penetrating U.S. policymaking circles" through a friend of a U.S. Cabinet official, said C. Frank Figliuzzi, FBI assistant director for counterintelligence.
The footage shows Russian spy Anna Chapman, now a TV personality back in Russia, shopping and trying on hats at a Macey’s department store, sightseeing, chilling in coffee shops, and strolling around New York city.
One photo shows Donald Heathfield of Cambridge, Massachusetts, graduating from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2000. The school revoked his degree after the spy ring was exposed.
The spies settled into suburbian life in middle-class neighborhoods and attempted to network their way into the world of finance, technology, and government.
After they were freed and returned to Russia, President Dmitry Medvedev awarded the 10 freed spies Russia's highest honors at a Kremlin ceremony.
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