Expelled spies included Russians suspected of tracking compatriots who resettled in U.S. – media

09:56, 26 April 2018
World
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REUTERS

In at least one instance, suspected Russian spies were believed to be casing someone who was part of a CIA program that provided new identities to protect resettled Russians, the officials said, CNN wrote.

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That episode and other U.S. intelligence raised concerns that the Russians were preparing to target Russian émigrés in the U.S. labeled by the Kremlin as traitors or enemies, law enforcement and intelligence officials said.

The CIA declined to comment. The White House declined to comment.

The Russian embassy did not respond to a request for comment.

The concerns have been heightened following the poisoning in the UK of a former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, who is a Russian citizen. British and U.S. officials have blamed Russian intelligence for the use of a nerve agent in the attempted poisoning.

Read alsoPolice identify key suspects in nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal – The Telegraph

The White House last month said it was expelling 60 Russians as a measure of solidarity with the UK over the Skripal poisoning case.

Officials in both the U.S. and UK have warned that the Russian government appears emboldened to carry out assassinations in western Democracies.

Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee produced a report earlier this year raised the issue of the suspicious deaths of more than two dozen critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin during his time in power. The Russian security services are suspected in many of the deaths, the report said, noting a Russian law passed "in July 2006 that permits the assassination of 'enemies of the Russian regime' who live abroad."

"The trail of mysterious deaths, all of which happened to people who possessed information that the Kremlin did not want made public, should not be ignored by Western countries on the assumption that they are safe from these extreme measures," said the Senate Democrats in their report.

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