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Archive for Sunday, March 25, 2001

Hunt continues for Russian agent

March 25, 2001

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— Although alleged traitor Robert Hanssen is behind bars, counterintelligence agents are on the trail of at least one more Russian spy still inside the U.S. government, according to a magazine report.

"There's a massive mole hunt going on" in the CIA, State Department and National Security Agency, a former CIA official still closely tied to the agency says in this week's edition of U.S. News & World Report. The FBI is said to have 400 agents on the Hanssen case and related investigations.

The cloak-and-dagger drama was spotlighted last month with the arrest of Hanssen, a top FBI agent, on charges that he had spied for Moscow since the days of the Soviet Union.

The search for additional spies was triggered by an examination of evidence in the Hanssen case, the magazine said.

Agents concluded that the damage was too great to have been done by just Hanssen and earlier spies, and that other Russian agents must have been involved.

Moscow noticeably slowed its intelligence operation in the United States for two years after the breakup of the Soviet Union but cranked it up to "almost Cold War levels after 1993," a senior U.S. official said.

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