- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 4, 2009

On that night, he was returning home from the International Spy Museum. He had been meeting with an old friend who once was a top officer in the KGB.

It was raining when Paul Joyal pulled his car into his driveway in Adelphi, Md. As he stepped out, nothing seemed amiss.

But suddenly, he was under attack. Mr. Joyal, 55, fought back. He elbowed one of the attackers in the gut and bowled into him. He and the assailant tumbled to the ground.

“Shoot him!” barked the man - . Mr. Joyal instinctively folded his arms across his chest and rolled to the side as the other attacker fired.

The bullet ripped through his intestines. Then the shooter moved in for a second shot at close range and pulled the trigger. But the gun jammed.

By now, Mr. Joyal’s dogs were barking because of the commotion and gunshot, and his family and neighbors were stirring.

Without a word more, the attackers ran, possibly through the sprawling cemetery behind Mr. Joyal’s backyard.

Normally, his wife, Elizabeth, attended a dance class on Thursdays, but she happened to be home that night, March 1, 2007, and frantically dialed 911.

“My husband’s just been shot. Please,” she said.

“Who was he shot by?” the dispatcher asked after confirming the address.

“I don’t know.”

That’s still true today. Some 2 1/2 years after the shooting, the motive still remains uncertain.

Police assumed that Mr. Joyal was the victim of a random street crime. He assumed the same, at first.

But he soon confronted another possibility. For years, he had warned that the Russian government was taking extreme steps, including assassinations, to silence its critics. Perhaps he too had become a target.

Mr. Joyal studied the Soviet Union in college. “I’m a child of the Cold War. It was the big issue growing up for me. It was the focus of many of our lives back then,” he said.

Those who taught him said that to understand the Soviets, you have to understand the Soviet intelligence apparatus. You have to understand the KGB.

After graduation, Mr. Joyal went to work on Capitol Hill, eventually serving as director of security for the Senate Intelligence Committee when its chairman was Barry Goldwater, former Republican presidential nominee.

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the zeal for reform within America’s former enemy was genuine, Mr. Joyal said, and he again placed himself in the middle of the action. He traveled frequently to Moscow and to the newly independent nation of Georgia, a former Soviet republic.

“In Moscow it was a very exciting time,” Mr. Joyal said. “There was a true opportunity to participate in the reform movement.”

It was during this time that he met former KGB counterintelligence chief Oleg Kalugin, forming a friendship and a business partnership. Mr. Joyal later helped Mr. Kalugin land a teaching position at Catholic University.

But in time the reformist tide ebbed in Russia, and men like Mr. Kalugin fell out of favor. Then-President Vladimir Putin called Mr. Kalugin a “traitor” for criticizing Russia. In 2002, Mr. Kalugin was convicted in absentia on treason charges; the U.S. refused to extradite him.

Mr. Joyal spoke out forcefully against the changes. He was a frequent commentator on the BBC decrying what he considered Russian bullying tactics against Georgia. Mr. Joyal became a paid lobbyist in the U.S. for Georgia, where last year tensions with Russia boiled over into a brief military conflict.

He and Mr. Kalugin remained close. It was Mr. Kalugin whom Mr. Joyal had met at the spy museum before the shooting.

The case remains open, but Prince George’s County Police Cpl. Mike Rodriguez said police have no reason to think the shooting was anything but a random street crime. He declined to discuss why that is the working theory.

Mr. Joyal would like to believe that theory. “It’s worthy of a thorough investigation,” he said, one that would likely require a strong commitment from the FBI.

Rich Wolf, a spokesman for the FBI in Baltimore, said the bureau provided some assistance to county police, but is not actively involved in the case. He declined to discuss in any detail why the bureau did not take a more active role.

Yevgeny Khorishko, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Washington, said the suggestion that Mr. Joyal’s shooting was carried out on behalf of the Russian government is “absolute nonsense.”

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