ANNA Chapman is the alleged Russian agent with the cleavage back story and a line in good underwear. US agents have swooped on a further 10 other alleged Russian agents. But it’s all eyes on Anna Chapman. Although – get this – that might not be her real name.
The Daily Express said Chapman’s real surname is Kuschenko. She was born in Ukraine and raised in Volgograd.
But who cares about the secrets – get a load of that data-harvesting cleavage!
The new round-up:
Daily Mirror (front page): “The redhed under the bed” Daily Express (front page): “The beauty who spied for Russia” Sun (front page): “SEXY SPY HELD IN US SWOOPS”
The Mail quotes Ana Chapman’s mum, a thickset women with broad shoulders festooned with military medals:
And Miss Chapman’s tearful mother Irina, 51, said in Moscow: ‘Of course I deny that my daughter is a spy. It’s all very shocking to us.’
But that about the level of information Anna and her alleged associates discovered from working in America?
The assignments, described in secret instructions intercepted by the FBI, were to collect routine political gossip and policy talk that might have been more efficiently gathered by surfing the Web.
So says Russian TV.
Is that it? The Mail wants it to be better than that:
Miss Foley, Mr Heathfield, and their nine co-accused allegedly used invisible ink, short-wave radios, steganography and wi-fi in cafés to pass coded messages back to Russia – including information on nuclear weapons.
Scott Beauchamp met Anna Chapman when she was recruiting for her estate agency business:
Despite Miss Chapman’s Slavic good looks, she seemed just as awkward and self-conscious as any other 20-something. There was nothing out of the ordinary. She didn’t ask me for the maximum effective range of a .25 millimeter Bushmaster Cannon. She didn’t ask me if I felt comfortable working in a non-legal, Russian-friendly environment. There were no bags of cash exchanged. She didn’t once use a radio transmitter, and I never asked her if she was a Bond girl. All in all, it was rather boring. She mostly talked about Pay Per Click software and online advertising, and then told me that she would get back to me in a few weeks. Before she did, I was hired somewhere else.
Of course knowing what secrets the enemy knows is a hard thing to write about with any authority.
Some of the suspected spies arrested in the United States are Russian citizens, Russia’s Foreign Ministry acknowledged Tuesday, but it insisted they did nothing to hurt U.S. interests.
Oh, come on. We need more than that. What says the FBI about the alleged spies? The Mirror laps it up:
The alleged spies held secret New York rendezvous in scenes straight from a Cold War thriller. Mar 31, 2002: Alleged moneyman Christopher Metsos hands Richard Murphy a bag with $40,000 at a restaurant in Queens district.
May 16, 2004: Metsos and Russian contact swap bags as they pass each other on a rail station staircase. Metsos later hands Murphy cash with the code phrases: “Meet this guy, tell him Uncle Paul loves him… it is wonderful to be Santa Claus in May.”
Jun 20, 2004: Murphy meets Michael Zottoli near Central Park to hand over bag with museum logo. Jun 5, 2006: Zottoli and Patricia Mills dig up cash in Wursboro that Metsos buried in 2004.
Jun 6, 2009: Russian official slips bag into Murphy’s rucksack as they cross paths at rail station. Sep 26, 2009: Murphy hands Zottoli $150,000 and a bag on park bench. Murphy later hands him laptop to message Moscow as they meet in coffee shop. Jan 20, 2010: Anna Chapman uses a laptop in Starbucks to message colleagues in a van. She later goes to bookstore to pass information to another agent.
Lt Col Shaffer, who works with a defence think tank in Washington DC, said he was told the group wanted policy information rather than classified or sensitive material.
“They wanted a Soviet-style, Cold War insight. We were told flat out that these guys and gals were throwbacks to the old Cold War days to the point of floppy hats and big trench coats,” he said.
“The approach was to be very unsophisticated and very obvious and it was quite an eye-opener.”
He added: “I do believe that the primary reason for the Russians using these approaches is a fundamental inability to understand the internal mechanisms of policy-making in Washington.
“They wanted to learn about titbits, rumours and innuendoes which often frankly are what tend to drive policy in a way that can’t easily be discerned from thousands of miles away.”
Couples Accused as Spies Were the Suburbs Personified
They were off her faces on prescription uppers and having an affair?
In Montclair, N.J., a woman who lived next to the Murphy family described them as “suburbia personified.” They asked their neighbors for advice about the best middle schools to send their two young daughters. Richard Murphy mowed the lawn; Cynthia Murphy would come home from her job as a financial-services executive, daffodils and French bread in her hands.
“We would talk about gardening and dogs and kids,” said one neighbor, Corine Jones, 53.
Moscow. Come in, Moscow. Jimmy Junior III is is big for his age and Jennifer is thinking of getting a nose stud. Over.
Not that anyone is listening to a word Ana Chapman says, rather just focusing on her breasts and face:
A married couple who identified themselves as Canadians. They arrived in the U.S. in 1999 and lived in Harvard Square, Cambridge on a street with Harvard professors. During their court appearance on Monday, they spoke in French to their two sons, aged 16 and 21. Boston attorney Robert Sinsheimer, who represented Ms. Foley, said, “She seems like a frightened, concerned mom.”
Richard and Cynthia Murphy
The couple, with two small daughters, lived in Montclair, N.J., where one neighbour, Jessie Gugigi, 15, said she could not believe the charges against Ms. Murphy, who was an accomplished gardener. “They couldn’t have been spies,” Jessie said. “Look what she did with the hydrangeas.”
Anna Chapman, pictured Identified by Russian TV as having a Russian passport. Ms. Chapman, 28, is said to be divorced from her English husband. She moved to U.S. in February and lived in a fancy apartment in the Financial District in New York. Reportedly has a master’s degree in economics and runs a US$2-million online real-estate business. Since January, she has maintained a Facebook page, which uses the Russian form of her name, Anya. It has been updated fairly often in English and Russian.
Juan Lazaro and Vicky Pelaez Lived in a book-filled house in Yonkers, N.Y., with their son, Juan Jose, 17, and Waldo Mariscal, Ms. Pelaez’s son by an earlier marriage… Ms. Pelaez, born in Peru, was a columnist for El Diario/La Prensa, the most widely read Spanish language newspaper in New York. Mr. Mariscal called the charges “preposterous” and said his mother and stepfather have never visited Russia.
LIVED ON WEST COAST
Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills The couple, who have two children, lived in a Seattle apartment until last year before moving to Arlington, Va. University of Washington records show two students named Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills graduated with bachelor degrees in business administration, said the Seattle Times. Their Seattle apartment was the target of a judicially approved, clandestine search by the FBI on Feb. 17, 2006, the charging papers say. Agents reported finding a short-wave radio and notebooks filled with numbers, which they suspect might have been used to receive and decipher coded messages.
Mikhail Semenko Mr. Semenko, from Arlington, Va., was identified by Russian TV as having a Russian passport. Maintained a page on Odnoklassniki, one of the most popular Russian web-sites, where he joined alumni groups from his high school and university in Russia’s Far East. Lived in Blagoveshchensk, 3,600 miles from Moscow, and attended Amur State University, earning a degree in international relations. Moved to the U.S. in 2008. Neighbours described him as a stylish man in his late 20s who drove a Mercedes S-500.
ARRESTED IN C YPRUS
Christopher Metsos Allegedly a Canadian citizen with a U.S. passport and the money man. Arrested yesterday by police at Larnaca airport, Cyprus, on an Interpol warrant as he tried to fly to Budapest. He has been released on bail and had his passport confiscated. He arrived on the island on Jun 17 and was staying alone at a hotel in Larnaca. Allegedly served as a go-between for agents across the U.S. Also accused of receiving and making payments to the other members of the group, including getting payments during a brush-pass with a Russian government official who was affiliated with the Russian mission to the United Nations in New York, according to the Justice Department. His departure for Cyprus is thought to have triggered the U.S. decision to roll up the spy ring.