A stunning new report from Yahoo! News has raised the alarm about the Russian Federation’s ability to crack the communications networks which the FBI used to rely upon for counterintelligence field operations. The electronic penetration by Russia’s foreign intelligence service using diplomatic personnel ultimately caused America’s government to extensively revamp its electronic transmissions after the FBI discovered the electronic intrusion.
President Obama shuttered two diplomatic compounds in late 2016 as public retaliation for Putin’s election attacks, as well as closing the Russian consulate in San Francisco.
It turns out that the “dachas” (a Russian term for country home) in Maryland’s Eastern Shores and Long Island’s ritzy Oyster Bay community were both involved in the electronic stratagem. Yahoo! News reports on the “stunning breach:”
The operation, which targeted FBI communications, hampered the bureau’s ability to track Russian spies on U.S. soil at a time of increasing tension with Moscow, forced the FBI and CIA to cease contact with some of their Russian assets, and prompted tighter security procedures at key U.S. national security facilities in the Washington area and elsewhere, according to former U.S. officials.
These compromises, the full gravity of which became clear to U.S. officials in 2012, gave Russian spies in American cities including Washington, New York and San Francisco key insights into the location of undercover FBI surveillance teams, and likely the actual substance of FBI communications, according to former officials.
Russia’s intelligence capabilities have become a grave matter of national concern since they waged an electronic warfare campaign during 2016 to help Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton.
But today’s shocker indicates that American intelligence agencies have been aware of their vastly expanded intelligence-gathering operations dating all the way back to 2011. That’s just one year after a deep-cover spy network named The Illegals Program – which inspired The Americans, a critically acclaimed drama – was caught and dismantled.
The real-life spy thriller that unfolded between the FBI, the CIA and Russian intelligence led to costly technology upgrades and caused federal agencies to doubt their operational security for years.
In addition, revelations about the heightened state of Russia’s electronic assaults on the U.S. dating back to 2011 provides a massive exclamation point to last week’s revelations of a top U.S. spy in the Kremlin who was extracted because the CIA believed his cover could be too easily blown by the maniacal, Putin-praising President of the United States.
Journalists quickly uncovered Oleg Smolenkov as the presumptive American mole high inside Putin’s inner circle, after he bought real estate in his own name close to Washington D.C. Even The Washington Post reported on the former spy’s home purchase in its local real estate section.
However, Yahoo! News’ revelations far exceed the breach of security for a single operative and paint the ongoing enmity between Russia and America as a spy war, and one that has dramatically escalated:
“Make no mistake, we’re in an intelligence war with the Russians, every bit as dangerous as the Cold War,” said a former senior intelligence officer. “They’re trying all the time … and we caught them from time to time,” he said. Of course, he added, “you don’t know what you don’t know.”
That’s the same message that special counsel Robert Mueller tried to convey during the highly contentious hearings to discuss his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Despite all of the clear evidence that Russia is a serious adversary nation, Republicans continue to cozy up to Russia, even after the FBI’s massive communications breach was discovered and extensively outlined to key GOP members of Congress performing intelligence oversight duties.
Read the entire original story here:
Big story on how Russia breached the FBI's communications system, not in Russia but right here in the US. https://t.co/VJhqiStQzR
— Michael Carpenter (@mikercarpenter) September 16, 2019
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report. Find out more at grantstern.com.