A bunch of tri-staters hailing from New Jersey, Yonkers, and Manhattan were arrested this weekend for being spies. Russian spies. How very James Bond.
According to the Justice Department, as part of a multi-year investigation in four states, eight people were arrested on Sunday for allegedly carrying out long-term, “deep-cover” assignments in the United States on behalf of the Russian Federation. Two more were arrested for allegedly participating in the same Russian intelligence program within the United States. (Nine of the defendants are also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering.)
The FBI obtained the following decrypted message from Russia’s intelligence headquarters in Moscow:
Your education, bank accounts, car, house etc. — all these serve one goal: fulfill your main mission, i.e. to search and develop ties in policymaking circles in US and send intels to the Moscow center.
CBS News reports that agents would have been highly trained in “foreign languages; agent-to-agent communications, including the use of brush-passes (covert hand-offs of secret information); short-wave radio operation and invisible writing; the use of codes and ciphers, including the use of encrypted Morse code messages; the creation and use of a cover profession; counter-surveillance measures” and more.
This is creepy, but we’re suddenly less afraid of spies because we knew they did all of that stuff already! Really, short-wave radio? Invisible writing? Morse Code? Guys, that went out with magic decoder rings and camera cigarette lighters. Come on, even China is onto the hacking game.
Still, maybe in some small way, it’s nice to hear that Russia still considers us worthy of being spied on. And it’s good to know the FBI is on this shit. Let’s not go getting all Cold War or anything.