New York Times: In Ordinary Lives, U.S. Sees the Work of Russian Agents
They had lived for more than a decade in American cities and suburbs from Seattle to New York, where they seemed to be ordinary couples working ordinary jobs, chatting to the neighbors about gardening and schools, apologizing for noisy teenagers.
But on Monday, federal prosecutors accused 11 people of being part of a Russian espionage ring, living under false names and deep cover in a patient scheme to penetrate what one coded message called American “policy making circles.”
An F.B.I. investigation that began at least seven years ago culminated with the arrest on Sunday of 10 people in Yonkers, Boston and northern Virginia. The documents detailed what the authorities called the “Illegals Program,” an ambitious, long-term effort by the S.V.R., the successor to the Soviet K.G.B., to plant Russian spies in the United States to gather information and recruit more agents.
This isn’t spooky because they managed to steal a bunch of info (apparently they didn’t). It’s spooky because these weren’t your traditional spies. They were inserted as part of a very long-term, deep-cover effort and their job was to insert themselves into the lives of ordinary Americans. That’s the kind of spooky stuff I would have attributed to the KGB during the Cold War, not to a (relatively) friendly Russia of today.
Just another reminder that you don’t need to go looking to make enemies in this world. There are plenty of them as it is.