September 24, 2011
Russia’s spy agency is waging a massive undercover campaign of harassment against British and American diplomats, as well as other targets, using deniable “psychological” techniques developed by the KGB, a new book reveals.
The federal security service (FSB) operation involves breaking into the private homes of western diplomats – a method the US state department describes as “home intrusions”. Typically the agents move around personal items, open windows and set alarms in an attempt to demoralise and intimidate their targets.
The FSB operation includes the bugging of private apartments, widespread phone tapping, physical surveillance, and email interception. Its victims include local Russian staff working for western embassies, opposition activists, human rights workers and journalists.
The clandestine campaign is revealed in Mafia State, a book by the Guardian’s former Moscow correspondent Luke Harding, serialised in Saturday’s Weekend magazine.
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