June 29, 2010

ACORN MUST HAVE HELPED THEM BUY THE HOUSE, HUH?:

Indian-Americans lead US bust of Russian spy ring (Chidanand Rajghatta, 6/29/10, TNN)

When Indian attention and affection began turning from Soviet Russia to the United States in the aftermath of the Cold War, few could have anticipated the role a growing Indian diaspora in America would have in the three-way ties. In an unusual twist to the relationship, it turns out that two Indian-Americans have a lead function in the US bust of a Russian spy ring that suggests that Cold War type espionage is alive and ticking.

Here are the charges in the stunning case, according to an FBI affidavit filed by Special Agent Amit Kachhia-Patel (the first of Indian-American involved in the case) before the office of the US. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who happens to be Preet Bharara (the second Indian in a prosecuting role): In an operation lasting many years, nearly a dozen Russian undercover agents burrowed themselves deep in US society, including becoming naturalized citizens, having family and children, and pursuing the American Dream, on a commission to spy for Moscow. The prolonged effort included gleaning information about US nuclear weapons research, Congressional politics, and changes in CIA personnel. [...]

Most of the alleged agents were paired as couples who lead typical suburban American lives, including buying homes and having children. They went by names such as Richard and Cynthia Murphy, Anna Chapman, Donald Heathfield etc., and lived in suburbs such as Rosslyn and Arlington, outside Washington DC, and as far away as Boston and Seattle. One couple even argued with their handlers over buying homes in the US, maintaining that it was necessary to fulfill their role as typical Americans who pride themselves on home ownership.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 29, 2010 6:27 AM
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