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The US diplomat from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow being detained in Russia attended Mary Institute Country Day School and graduated in 2002. 

Ryan C. Fogle, the third secretary in the political section at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, was detained in the night hours stretching from Monday to Tuesday and subsequently released to U.S. diplomats, Russia's Federal Security Service—the FSB—said in a statement.

Fogle is accused of being an undercover Central Intelligence Agency officer attempting to recruit a member of the Russian intelligence services.

A photo provided by Russia's Federal Security Service to US news outlets claims to show St. Louis native, Ryan Fogle, an American diplomat that Russia has accused of being an undercover CIA officer attempting to recruit a member of the Russian intelligence services.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said "such provocative actions in the spirit of the "Cold War" in no way help to strengthen mutual trust. The ministry said Mr. Fogle had been declared persona non grata and Russia demanded his immediate departure in a meeting Tuesday with U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul.

According to FSB the statement, which accused Mr. Fogle of operating as an undercover CIA officer, the American diplomat was found with special technical equipment, a recruitment note written to a Russian citizen, a large sum of money and products designed to change a person's appearance.

"The U.S. intelligence community recently has made repeated attempts to recruit employees of Russia's law-enforcement bodies and special agencies, which have been recorded and monitored by [Russia's] counterespionage forces," the FSB said. The CIA declined to comment.

Russia's Foreign Ministry summoned U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul for an urgent meeting to discuss Mr. Fogle's detention. Mr. McFaul declined to comment on the matter in a Twitter question-and-answer session Tuesday. The FSB announcement was released just as the previously scheduled session on U.S. support for Russian civil society began. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Moscow also declined to comment.

Reached by phone at her home in St. Louis by the Wall Street Journal, Fogle's mother, Patty Fogle, said, "I have nothing to say."

The diplomatic incident comes less than a week after the White House and the Kremlin attempted to patch up a damaged relationship with a high-level meeting between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The U.S., which has failed to "reset" its relations with Russia after repeated attempts, is seeking the Kremlin's help in ending the protracted war in Syria.

The detention of Mr. Fogle may throw a wrench in the White House's plans to rebuild trust with the Kremlin. It also comes almost three years after the U.S. exposed a network of Russian sleeper agents that included the redheaded Anna Chapman, who later returned to Russia to become a model and minor celebrity.

The recruitment note alleged by the FSB to have been recovered from Mr. Fogle was posted Tuesday in a photograph released by the FSB and published on the website of RT, a state-controlled Russian TV channel. The authenticity of the photos and note released by the FSB couldn't be independently verified.

Written in Russian that appeared to be that of a nonnative speaker, the note was addressed "Dear Friend" and signed "Your Friends." The FSB said the alleged spy offered the would-be recruit €100,000 and provided a picture of a stack of €500 bills it said were taken from the alleged spy.

The note released by the FSB promised $100,000 a year to discuss the would-be recruit's experience and "much more" if the recruit proved willing to answer specific questions of interest.

"In addition, for long-term cooperation, we offer up to $1 million a year with the promise of additional bonuses for information that will help us," it said.

The note instructed the would-be recruit to communicate with U.S. handlers via a G-Mail account accessed either from a public Wi-Fi network or an Internet cafe. State-run media also posted a series of photos released by Russian security services that purportedly showed Mr. Fogle's detention.

One appeared to show Mr. Fogle being handcuffed on the ground while wearing a baseball cap, a light-blue checked shirt and a dirty-blonde wig. The series of photos also included an image of what appeared to be Mr. Fogle's U.S. Embassy identification card and another of his official Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs diplomatic card. The diplomatic card was set to expire on April 29, 2014, three years after its issue date.

Another image shows a table strewed with the items recovered from Mr. Fogle's detention. On the table are two wigs, three pairs of glasses, three Ziploc bags filled with thousands of euros, a microphone, a knife and an RFID Shield, a sleeve that protects passports and credit-cards with computer chips from being read remotely.

 

Published in Local News

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