WASHINGTON (AFP) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ US authorities are holding a 12th person linked to a Cold War-style Russian spy ring, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
The disclosure came only four days after the United States sent 10 agents back to Russia in return for Russia releasing four people jailed for spying for Western nations.
“Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence investigators have been investigating the 23-year-old Russian man since last fall when his name surfaced in a decade-long spy investigation,” the Journal reported citing an unnamed US official familiar with the matter.
Prosecutors last month charged 11 people with being agents of Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence agency.
Ten in US custody entered plea deals Thursday ahead of a diplomatic swap for four people held by Russia on charges of spying for Western intelligence agencies.
“It’s unclear what drew investigators’ interest in the 12th man, but FBI agents began monitoring him shortly after he entered the United States in October 2009,” the Journal added, citing the unnamed US official. The man’s name was not published.
In a cloak-and-dagger operation carried out in Vienna, Washington on Friday sent 10 spies back to Moscow in exchange for the four people held in Russia.
All the children of the 10 spies have also been sent to Russia to rejoin their parents, US attorney general Eric Holder said Sunday.