- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 8, 2001

Spy paraphernalia and other goods recovered during a search of property belonging to accused spy Robert P. Hanssen provide a glimpse into the personal life of someone federal prosecutors say was one of Moscow's most important agents.

The items found in his car and Virginia house include a set of lock-picking tools, maps of Hong Kong, Rome and Tokyo, books on spy catching, two photographs of actress Catherine Zeta-Jones and a bottle of Stolychnaya vodka.

The items provide clues to Mr. Hanssen's apparent double life as an FBI counterspy and a mole for Russia's intelligence service for more than 15 years.

Also found were key pieces of evidence prosecutors will link to Mr. Hanssen's communications with his KGB handlers: a box of plastic multicolored thumbtacks and a 12-piece box of chalk.

Investigators say Mr. Hanssen used the chalk and thumbtacks to signal his Russian intelligence contacts to pick up packages of classified documents at secret "dead drops."

A search of Mr. Hanssen's car produced a handwritten page of "numerous apparent radio frequencies," according to court papers. U.S. officials suspect the radio frequencies were used by FBI surveillance personnel and were provided to Moscow by Mr. Hanssen. Knowing the FBI's radio communication channels would greatly assist Russian spies and intelligence officers in avoiding detection. The FBI also seized a radio scanner from the car.

One document made public in court reveals that Mr. Hanssen stated in a letter recovered from a package left for his Russian handlers that he believed he was under surveillance and had detected radio signals from his car.

Mr. Hanssen's note indicates that the FBI had installed one of its unique tracking devices on Mr. Hanssen's car. The electronic device uses Global Positioning System satellites to monitor spies' movements and then periodically sends "burst" transmissions of the movements to the FBI.

U.S. officials close to the investigation told The Washington Times they believe Mr. Hanssen either gave one of the devices to the Russians or revealed its technology.

The search warrant "return" listing all items uncovered by FBI agents also contains some tantalizing clues, including a map of Hong Kong "with markings" and a stenographers' pad "with names and latitude and longitude" but not further identified.

Six "journal diary books and ledgers" listed in the search warrant return that were picked up by the FBI raise the possibility that investigators may have obtained a diary of Mr. Hanssen's activities.

The court papers were made public last week. They show Mr. Hanssen, a 27-year FBI counterintelligence specialist, also owned numerous firearms. FBI investigators seized 11 guns, including an AK-47 assault rifle, a shotgun and numerous pistols, including two Walther PPKs the compact handgun made famous by the fictional secret agent James Bond.

Numerous computers and related equipment and accessories were seized during searches last month. They attest to Mr. Hanssen's reputation as a computer expert who is credited with helping the FBI establish one of its first networks at headquarters.

Mr. Hanssen is said to be enamored of Miss Zeta-Jones after seeing her in the 1999 movie "Entrapment."

Several FBI files and reports, along with books and reports on Russian spying activities, also are included in the search warrant return. One document contained in a file folder bore the name Victor Sheymov a KGB major who defected to the United States in 1980 and revealed Moscow's covert weapons-technology acquisition.


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