UK spy attack prompted intel officials to review safety measures in US: report

UK spy attack prompted intel officials to review safety measures in US: report
© Getty Images

The poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the United Kingdom earlier this year reportedly prompted American intelligence officials to reassess safety measures in place for defectors living in the U.S.

The New York Times reported Thursday that Russian intelligence agencies have in recent years identified and located multiple Russians who were CIA informants and now live in the U.S. under a secret agency program.

American counterintelligence officials have reviewed protocols to protect those informants and search for any liabilities, including social media presences or information shared with family members that would make it easier for Russian agents to find the defectors, the Times reported.


British authorities earlier this month announced charges against two Russian nationals for the poisoning of the Skripals. The U.K. alleges that the men worked for GRU, Russia's military intelligence agency.

“The possibility of them doing the same thing here cannot be discounted — especially in light of them interfering in the 2016 election and Skripal,” Frank Montoya Jr., a former top F.B.I. counterintelligence official, told The Times. 

The Kremlin reportedly intensified its efforts to find Russians cooperating with foreign intelligence agencies after relations with the West deteriorated following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

The Trump administration move to expel dozens of Russian diplomats after Britain publicly accused Moscow of being behind the Skripal poisoning. 

Russia has denied any involved in the Britain attack.