On June 27, 2010, 10 people in Yonkers, Boston and northern Virginia were arrested and accused of being part of a Russian espionage ring, living under false names and deep cover in a patient scheme to penetrate what one coded message called American “policy making circles.” The next day, an 11th accused member of the ring was arrested at an airport in Cyprus while trying to leave for Budapest. The arrests were the result of an F.B.I. investigation that began at least seven years ago. Criminal complaints filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan read like an old-fashioned cold war thriller: Spies swapping identical orange bags as they brushed past each other in a train station stairway. An identity borrowed from a dead Canadian, forged passports, messages sent by shortwave burst transmission or in invisible ink. A money cache buried for years in a field in upstate New York. The suspected spy ring had everything it needed for world-class espionage: excellent training, cutting-edge gadgetry, deep knowledge of American culture and meticulously constructed cover stories.

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