Spy games: ‘Cold War never died’

Anna Chapman — perhaps the most famous spy of the modern era — is shown in Moscow, spotted at a movie premiere.

Until recently, Anna Chapman roamed the streets of New York on the trail of classified information. But her credentials were hardly stellar, according to General Oleg Kalugin, the former head of KGB counterintelligence. “Maintaining people like Chapman as spies is absurd,” Kalugin tells Metro.

“It just shows that the FSB wants to impress the Kremlin. As in the past, today’s real spies are diplomats, journalists and scientists and real businesspeople. And as in the past, the United States is the FSB’s most important priority.”

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the KGB was renamed FSB. Kalugin spent part of his career as KGB chief in the U.S., posing as a student, a Radio Moscow reporter, a professor, a Czech refugee and a Norwegian journalist.

Kalugin has been sentenced to 15 years in prison by Russia’s current regime, but the U.S. has refused to extradite him. Even so, Kalugin met with Metro in Washington alone and without disguise. According to his estimate, 60 percent of Russia’s embassy staff in Washington are involved with intelligence — only slightly fewer than the estimated 70 percent during the Cold War.

“The Cold War never died,” says Fred Burton, vice president of intelligence for the forecasting firm Stratfor. “The FSB has been very active, especially since 9/11, when many FBI agents were reassigned to deal with counterterrorism.”

And Russia is far from alone. China, India and Israel have maintained or increased their operations since the end of the Cold War, mainly targeting the U.S. Cuba, Venezuela, Iran and Pakistan run large spy networks as well.

“The Israelis categorically deny that they conduct intelligence operations against the U.S., but of course they do,” says Burton, a former counterintelligence agent.

Today, jihadist groups and Mexican drug cartels maintain spies, too. “All sponsors of terror are involved with espionage,” notes Burton. “They understand its value.”

Like foreign countries, terrorist groups recruit on the basis of loyalty, targeting emigrants who might be disappointed that their lives abroad didn’t turn out the way they had hoped. Drug cartels, on the other hand, recruit spies with bribes and blackmail.

Scoop: New day, old tricks

Even in a high-tech era, spies use old-fashioned techniques.

Because counterintelligence agents monitor computers and cell phones, spies often rely on shortwave radios. Dead drops are another common trick; spies can exchange information by leaving a bag by a bush. In a recent case, agents delivered secret documents in shopping carts.

“Agents develop as many contacts as they can,” explains Oleg Kalugin, the former KGB counterintelligence chief. “That has the added advantage of confusing counterintelligence agents. But they make sure they call their contacts, not vice versa. I used to say that I was a correspondent and traveled a lot.”

Putin vs. Kalugin

In almost four decades working for the KGB, Oleg Kalugin amassed a superior list of achievements.

While stationed in the U.S., he ran almost 300 sources. One of them was John Walker, who gave Kalugin hundreds of CIA and Pentagon contacts. As head of KGB’s counterintelligence, Kalugin planned the legendary umbrella murder of Bulgarian writer Georgi Markov.
Among the spies working under Kalugin was one Vladimir Putin. “But now he hates me,” says Kalugin. “It’s because I’ve called him a war criminal.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Arts

Theater: Discouraging 'Poor Behavior'

Theresa Rebeck's latest off-Broadway play, about two couples sparring on a weekend getaway, repeats a few mistakes of her past.

Gossip

Chef Todd English arrested for DWI in the…

Celebrity chef Todd English is facing DWI charges after a traffic stop on Sunday.

Movies

Box office: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is 2014's…

This weekend "The Guardians of the Galaxy" passed the fourth "Transformers" movie to become the highest grossing film of 2014.

Gossip

Spears back with controversial ex?

Is Briteny Spears back with Adnan Ghalib?

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…