Anna Chapman: FBI releases footage from Russian spy scandal

Former Russian spy Anna Chapman attends a meeting of the commission on economic modernization and technological development of the Russian economy at Skolkovo Innovation Centre outside Moscow in December 2010.

If Hollywood needs help turning the 2010 U.S.-Russian spy scandal into a movie, the FBI on Monday released surveillance videos that could guide the script: femme fatale Anna Chapman and other agents meeting, doing a brush pass and leaving items at a drop site.

Ten Russian spies spent years in the United States trying to blend into American society in an apparent bid to get close to power brokers and learn secrets. But the FBI said no classified information was stolen.

The FBI released 10 videos, including some of Chapman wandering through a New York department store where she was apparently secretly transmitting information to a nearby Russian government official over a wireless network.

Other videos showed the spies meeting around New York City, doing a brush pass in a train station and picking up and leaving items at drop sites in Virginia and New York.

The bureau released one video of an FBI agent posing as a Russian
consulate employee meeting with Chapman at a downtown New York coffee
shop in late June 2010, a meeting that may have spooked her into
thinking authorities had penetrated the ring.

FBI — Videos
- Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

An hour later she bought a new cell phone under a fake name and the next day she failed to show up at another meeting with the undercover agent. That led U.S. authorities to move in and arrest all the Russian spies.

“The Russian government spent significant funds and many years training and deploying these operatives,” an unidentified FBI counterintelligence agent from the case said in a statement. “No government does that without expecting a return on its investment.”

In a Cold War-style swap, U.S. authorities in July 2010 exchanged the Russian spies for four Russians who were imprisoned on charges of spying for the West.

BURIED TREASURE

The scandal came at a tough time for U.S.-Russian relations as President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev were trying to improve ties.

One video the FBI released harked back to one of the biggest spy scandals in U.S. history, when FBI agent Robert Hanssen used drop sites in the woods to pass secrets to the Russians, a huge embarrassment because so much secret information was given to the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

The FBI on Monday released a video of one of the Russian spies, Mikhail Semenko, trying to hide material at a drop site underneath a footbridge in a park outside Washington.

FBI — Videos
- Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

Other footage showed one of the Russian spy ringleaders, Christopher Metsos, doing a brush pass at a train station in Queens, New York, to receive a shopping bag filled with money from an official from the Russian mission in May 2004.

He later buried some of the money in rural New York, according to the criminal complaint that was filed against them. The bureau also released video of another member of the spy ring digging up the money two years later.

Hundreds of heavily redacted documents from the investigation were also released by the FBI. Some of that information, now deemed too sensitive to be made public, will be declassified no sooner than 2032, the agency said.

The videos and documents can be found here: http://vault.fbi.gov/ghost-stories-russian-foreign-intelligence-service-illegals



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."