Conflict & Justice

The Case of US Diplomat Ryan Fogle: In the World of Spies, Old Tricks are New Again

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U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul walks outside as he leaves the Russian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Moscow, May 15, 2013. The Kremlin said on Wednesday a spy dispute could impede efforts to improve ties with the United States, but did not threaten any more action after the expulsion of a diplomat accused of trying to recruit a Russian agent. President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov made his first comments on the case as U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul discussed it with the Russian Foreign Ministry. McFaul, who was summoned on Tuesday, made no comment as he left the meeting. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW) - RTXZMYC

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REUTERS

The US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, met foreign ministry officials in Moscow Wednesday to discuss the case of a US diplomat accused of trying to recruit a Russian agent.

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McFaul was summoned after Russia said on Tuesday it had detained Ryan Fogle for "provocative actions." Fogle was declared "persona non grata" and told to leave the country.

This video of diplomat Ryan Fogle's detention was released by Russian intelligence officials.

Also, Russian media played what Russian authorities say is a recording of Fogle's voice making arrangements on the phone for a secret meeting with a Russian agent, in a city park.

In the tape, the voice is heard saying: "The meeting has to be today, not tomorrow," and promise the agent a large sum of money.

Fogle was reportedly busted with the following list of items on him:

Two wigs, one blond, one brown, dark glasses, a street map, a compass, two pocket knives, a flashlight, a decidedly UN-smart phone, a wad of Euros, and a cryptic spy-recruitment letter.

They sound like props from an old Cold War-era movie.

But according to Peter Earnest, those things are all still part of a spy's arsenal.

Earnest is the executive director of the International Spy Museum in Washington DC.

And he should know something about spy gear.

For 25 years of his life, he used such gear himself, as an agent for the CIA.

Earnest says that – for serious spies – low tech is the way to go.