Sunday, October 1

Former FBI agent Robert Hanssen, convicted of spying for Russia, dies in prison


Considered “the most harmful spy” in the US, he has been serving fifteen consecutive life sentences since 2002 for betraying the country

Former FBI agent Robert Philip Hanssen, in 2002.FBI | AFP
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FBI agent Robert Hanssen, who spied for the former Soviet Union and later for Russia, died Monday in prison where he serve fifteen consecutive life sentences for betraying the US.

Hansen, of 79 yearswas “found unconscious” around 06:55 local time (12:55 GMT) in the federal prison super max in Florence, Colorado, the Bureau of Prisons reported in a statement.

The note does not provide details on the reason for his death, although it does specify that no inmates or members of the prison staff were injured and that at no time was there any danger to the public.

The prisoner was pronounced dead by emergency services workers who treated him at the scene.

Hanssen was arrested in 2001 and pleaded guilty to fifteen counts of espionage for sell highly classified material to the Soviet Union and Russia during the last years of the Cold War. She had been in a Colorado prison since 2002.

The identification
The identification and business card of former FBI agent Robert Hanssen.PAUL J. RICHARDS | AFP

On its website, the FBI describes it as “the most harmful spy” in its history, since he gave the Russians national security information “in exchange for $1.4 million in cash, bank funds and diamonds”. His espionage activities began in 1985, nine years after he joined the FBI.

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Hanssen operated under the nickname of Ramon Garcia with the Russians and provided sensitive information, which compromised “numerous human sources, counterintelligence techniques, investigations, and dozens of classified government documents,” among others, to the KGB and its successor agency, the SVR, the FBI says.

Thanks to his experience and training, Hanssen went under the radar for years, although his activities aroused occasional suspicion during his time with Moscow.

In the 1990s, after CIA agent Aldrich Ames was arrested for working for the Russians, the agency and the FBI realized that there must be another Russian spy in their ranks who was sharing classified information, until they found Hanssen.

stopped in a park

The American was arrested after he was caught in the act in a virginia parkwhere he was trying to contact another Russian spy.

Months later, he pleaded guilty to selling thousands of classified documents to Moscow with data on the US strategy against a nuclear war and with counterintelligence informationamong others.

Hanssen also alerted the Russians to the existence of a secret tunnel built by the FBI under the Russian Embassy in Washington for wiretapping and was accused of compromising dozens of Russians who had collaborated with the US, some of whom were executed. .

At the time, the Department of Justice described this situation as “possibly worst intelligence disaster in US history.

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