U.S. Thinks Agent Revealed Tunnel at Soviet Embassy

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at SPAMtao.ca
Sun Mar 4 05:29:28 MST 2001

U.S. Thinks Agent Revealed Tunnel at Soviet Embassy

Stephen Crowley/ The New York Times
The Russian Embassy complex on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington.

WASHINGTON, March 3 - The United States government constructed a secret tunnel under
the Soviet Union's embassy in Washington to eavesdrop, but federal investigators now
believe the operation was betrayed by the F.B.I. agent who was arrested last month on
charges of spying for Moscow, current and former United States intelligence and law
enforcement officials say.

The secret tunnel operation, which officials indicated was run jointly by the F.B.I.
and the National Security Agency, was part of a broad United States effort to
eavesdrop on and track Soviet - later Russian - facilities and personnel operating in
the United States.

Spokesmen at the F.B.I. and the White House declined to comment on the tunnel
operation today.

Current and former United States officials estimated that the tunnel construction and
related intelligence-gathering activities cost several hundred million dollars,
apparently making it the most expensive clandestine intelligence operation that the
agent, Robert Philip Hanssen, is accused of betraying. The tunnel was designed to aid
in a sophisticated operation to eavesdrop on communications and conversations in the
Soviet Embassy complex, which was built in the 1970's and 1980's but was not fully
occupied until the 1990's.

completed at:


Macdonald Stainsby
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