Deep-cover Russian spies posing as suburban Americans. Money covertly changing hands. Supposedly secret information moving via encryption software.
It’s an elaborate replay of Cold War intrigue that leaves some experts puzzled. But the FBI case against 11 people charged with conspiring to spy for Russia also raises concerns among counterintelligence veterans about new ways adversaries — including terrorists — may be seeking informational advantages.
Spying for foreign powers in the U.S. “is still active. Many, many countries are still engaged in it,” said David Szady, the FBI’s former top spy catcher and assistant director of counterintelligence, who retired in 2006 and works for a global security firm. “The threat now is probably as serious as ever.”