Russian TV: American accused of spying flies out

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Associated Press

Posted on May 19, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Updated Monday, May 20 at 3:34 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — The U.S. Embassy employee accused of spying in Moscow flew out of Russia on Sunday, five days after he was ordered to leave the country, NTV television reported.

The Kremlin-loyal TV station broadcast video Sunday evening showing Ryan Fogle going through passport control and security at Sheremetyevo International Airport. He also was pictured in the company of embassy staff as he wheeled a suitcase into the Moscow airport, which is used by Delta Air Lines for its direct flights to New York.

Russian security services announced Tuesday that Fogle, a 29-year-old third secretary in the U.S. Embassy, had been caught trying to recruit a Russian counterterrorism officer. Fogle, who was accused of working for the CIA, was widely shown on Russian television wearing a blond wig.

The U.S. Embassy on Sunday again refused to comment on the case.

The attention given to the Fogle case in Russia contrasts with recent moves by Washington and Moscow to develop closer cooperation on counterterrorism in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15.

The bombing suspects — Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his elder brother, Tamerlan, who was killed by police — have roots in the Russian republic of Chechnya. Tamerlan spent six months last year in neighboring Dagestan, now the center of an Islamic insurgency, and U.S. investigators have been working with the Russians to try to determine whether he had established any contacts with the militants.

Little is known publicly about Fogle's duties and activities in Russia.

The U.S. State Department confirmed that Fogle worked as an embassy employee but would give no details about his job. The CIA declined comment.

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