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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Slams FBI Methods In Spy Arrest

The FBI used "provocative methods" to arrest an alleged former spy by pretending one of its operatives was a Russian agent, a Russian foreign intelligence official said Wednesday.

"We notice that curious patterns have appeared in the American secret service," Foreign Intelligence Service spokesman Yury Kobaladze said. "They have adopted provocative methods of using the Russian flag" in their sting operations.

The FBI arrested David Sheldon Boone, 46, who they allege sold top secrets to the Soviet Union, after he met with a bureau agent posing as a Russian spy looking for new secrets on Saturday at an airport hotel outside Washington. He made an appearance Tuesday in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

"It would be interesting to see how Washington would react if similar methods were adopted by Russian counterintelligence," Kobaladze said.

Washington charges that Boone, a former enlisted man who served 21 years in the U.S. Army, including service as a code-breaking analyst at the National Security Agency, sold the Soviet Union top secrets from 1988 to 1991 f the last three years of that nation's existence.

Among the secrets Boone is accused of selling was a list of Soviet targets for U.S. nuclear weapons. They say he made $60,000 from the espionage.

The government charges that Boone passed top secret documents to a KGB officer he knew as "Igor," revealing, among other things, what the United States knew about capabilities of Soviet tactical nuclear weapons. (NYT, AP)

The FBI ruse that lured Boone back to the United States involved an intermediary who met him in London. Boone fell for the FBI's favorite method of trapping inactive Cold War spies who now find themselves on the wrong side of history, the government said. Since the Soviet collapse in 1991, most FBI investigations of Moscow's old spies have been prompted by leads provided by Russian defectors or informants in Russia.