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Russia ousts U.S. diplomat Fogle for spying

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By USA Today
Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 8:12 p.m.

The U.S. diplomat expelled for allegedly spying for the CIA was trying to recruit a senior Russian intelligence officer involved with fighting terrorism in the North Caucasus, the region linked to the suspects in the Boston bombing case, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported, quoting Russian security service sources.

The Russian Foreign Ministry declared Ryan Fogle, a third secretary in the U.S. Embassy's political section, persona non grata on Wednesday and ordered him to leave the country. He was detained by officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) on Monday night.

Kommersant, quoting “participants of the special operation,” said Fogle “was trying to recruit an FSB officer in charge of the fight against terrorism in the North Caucasus.”

Russian state television aired footage Wednesday from Russia's security services claiming that another alleged American spy was expelled earlier this year.

In the footage, a man sitting in near darkness who was identified only as an FSB operative said a “CIA operative” was expelled in January. He said the FSB then asked its U.S. counterparts to halt this “disturbing activity.”

The man also claimed the Russians had been shadowing Fogle since he began his Moscow posting in 2011.

Kommersant quoted the sources as saying the Americans apparently got the phone numbers of Russian anti-terrorism officials during meetings about the April 15 Boston bombings.

Two suspects in the Boston Marathon attack, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, lived in the Boston area but were born in Russia and had moved with their parents to the United States.

Last year, when Tamerlan Tsarnaev took a six-month trip to the Russian republic of Dagestan, where his parents had resettled, Russian officials twice exchanged messages with first the FBI, then the CIA, inquiring about him and any possible ties to extremists.

The FBI met with Tsarnaev but determined that he was not a terror threat.

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