FBI Lax On Detecting Double Agents
OCTOBER 02, 2007
Six years after one of its veteran agents was caught spying for Russia, the Federal Bureau of Investigation remains vulnerable to espionage from within because the agency has failed to adopt adequate security measures.
As the nationâ??s lead law enforcement and domestic spy agency, the FBI was to implement security measures to prevent another embarrassing case mirroring that of a double agent, Robert Hansen, who spied for Russia for more than two decades.
When Hansen was finally arrested in 2001, he admitted that he provided the Soviet Unionâ??s premier security and intelligence agency, the KGB, with top secret information in exchange for cash and diamonds. In 2002 he was sentenced to life in prison.
Six years later the FBI has yet to implement internal monitoring procedures to effectively review suspicious employees, according to a 41-page report published by the Department of Justice Inspector General. The lapse exposes the nation to internal spy threats and was probably responsible for a major security breach last year involving an intelligence analyst.
The FBI analyst, Leandro Aragoncillo, was convicted on espionage charges in 2006 for sending dozens of classified documents to opposition leaders in the Philippines. The report specifically says that Aragoncilloâ??s conduct should have been detected and investigated significantly earlier than it was.
The report even quotes the chief of the FBI technology center where the convicted analyst worked, admitting that the bureau â??dropped the ball on this in a big way.â? Aragoncillo is serving a 10-year prison sentence.
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