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FBI investigators sure they got their man in spy case

Bureau to start polygraph tests for employees following spy probe

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- An investigation that led to the arrest of an FBI agent on espionage charges may soon clear a CIA officer who was the original target of the investigation, a Washington newspaper said on Friday.

Sources close to the investigation told The Washington Post that the CIA officer, who has been on paid leave for 18 months, had passed several polygraph tests and that some officials considered the evidence against him marginal.

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The FBI arrested Robert Philip Hanssen, a 25-year veteran of the FBI, on Sunday, charging him with trading secrets to the Russians for cash and diamonds during more than 15 years of espionage activity.

A 110-page affidavit filed in federal court on Tuesday alleged that Hanssen had also fingered three double agents working in Moscow, and that two of those agents may subsequently have been executed.

Officials said they were tipped in 1999 by Russian documents indicating the presence of a mole, but did not turn their investigation to Hanssen until late last year.

Former co-workers and intelligence experts said that Hanssen' activities left a trail of clues to his identity, including use of his hometown (Chicago) as a signal and the code name "B" (Hanssen went by the name of Bob).

"He increased his chances of getting caught," said former FBI counterintelligence analyst Paul Moore, who said he has known Hanssen for 20 years.

FBI agents to face random polygraphs

Meanwhile, high-level FBI officials said the bureau will start requiring all of its employees to undergo random polygraph tests, probably within the next few weeks.

The looming policy change came as sources reported that Hanssen never had a polygraph test during his 25-year FBI career.

"When CIA employees hear polygraph, they think 'normal course of doing business,'" one FBI official said. "But when our guys hear polygraph they think of it as a tool used against criminals."

As a symbolic gesture, officials said the first employee tested will likely be Director Louis Fresh, followed by the deputy director and other assistant directors.

Hanssen was arrested on Sunday at a park near his Vienna, Virginia, home while allegedly dropping classified materials into a secret location for pickup by Russian agents.

Officials admitted there is a cultural stigma to overcome at the bureau.



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RELATED SITES:
Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • FBI Press Room - Press Release - 2000 - Veteran FBI Agent Arrested and Charged with Espionage
Central Intelligence Agency
US Department of State
U.S. Department of Justice
Embassy of the Russian Federation
Russian FSB (former KGB, in Russian)

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