Russia for many decades used the Russian Consulate in San Francisco as the focal point of his espionage activities in the United States, according to the material Foreign Policy «the Secret history of the Russian Consulate in San Francisco.»
It is noted that this Consulate was chosen as the center of Russian espionage because of the proximity to Silicon valley, such schools as Stanford and Berkeley, as well as a large number of defense contractors and researchers, including two laboratories in nuclear weapons related to the U.S. Department of energy.
One of the former leaders of the U.S. intelligence said that the Consulate was working a lot of employees of the Russian investigation, which focused on science and technology. According to the interlocutor, some of them were experts in the field of encryption.
Another former employee of the American intelligence noted the interest of Russian spies in San Francisco to establish relations with local technical experts and venture capital companies.
It is noted that over time, the intensity of the action of Russian intelligence intensified. According to Kathleen Puckett, who for two decades was involved in counterintelligence in the Bay area of San Francisco, «in the 2000-ies on the part of the Russians was more aggressive than in the 1980-ies».
The publication writes that the issue of espionage Consulate in San Francisco was «at the forefront of innovation.»
According to several former American intelligence officers, about 10 years ago alleged Russian spies began to show unexplained and bizarre behavior in remote, abandoned or seemingly random places. It is noted that they often knew that they were on the FBI’s radar.
Former employee of U.S. intelligence told of a case in which two alleged Russian spy came to the gas station. One of them approached the tree growing nearby and several times around it. Then they got into the car and drove away without buying fuel. It is noted that the suspects are employees of the Russian intelligence have repeatedly made the same strange action on the same gas stations.
The publication writes that some agents were holding seen a small device.
According to sources, one recurring and disturbing feature of these actions was that they often occurred where there were knots of fiber-optic cable network in the country. The Federal Bureau of investigation, the U.S. concluded that Russia had conducted a massive operation to collect data on all underground communication nodes in the United States, the newspaper writes.
A former FBI agent Lara Kwai, retired in 2006, said that in 1980 at least 50% of all employees of the Russian Consulate in San Francisco were spies.
In September, Russia closed its Consulate General in San Francisco, as well as consular offices in new York and Washington, obeying to the decision of the US State Department.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia would sue because of the restrictions on access to the territory of the Russian diplomatic missions in the United States.
Russia has used its Consulate in San Francisco as a hub of espionage activities in the United States 19.12.2017