An American was detained by Russian authorities late Monday, amid accusations he was trying to spy for the CIA.
He’s been subsequently turned over to American authorities.
The man worked at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Russia alleges the U.S. citizen was caught trying to recruit a Russian intelligence officer to work for the Central Intelligence Agency, Reuters reported.
A spokesman for the Federal Security Service identified the man as Ryan Fogle. He worked as a third secretary at the embassy. Authorities allegedly discovered a large sum of money and instructions for the Russian agent he was trying to recruit in his possession, when he was detained.
The unnamed spokesman also said Mr. Fogle was transporting “special technical equipment” along with the “means for changing one’s appearance,” Reuters said.
He was detained and then handed over to U.S. officials.
Russia’s decision to publicize the espionage suspicions and detention is viewed by diplomatic experts as highly unusual among friendly countries.
It comes less than a month after dozens of U.S. elected officials criticized Russian authorities for failing to raise alarms about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the suspects in the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing.
Tsarnaev, a U.S.-based ethnic Chechen, traveled to Russia for six months last year and returned with a radicalized view of Islam. He was killed following a shootout with police days after the bombing. His brother and fellow suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, remains in federal custody.