Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: US authorities remain silent about tunnel under Russian Embassy

Answer Man columninst contacted the FBI to see whether it wanted to use his column to finally announce exactly which house harbored the ill-fated tunnel under the Russian Embassy. The reply: “We have no comment.” When FBI turncoat Robert P. Hanssen was arrested in 2001, Count 2 of his indictment charged that he had revealed to his Soviet handlers the “existence of an FBI technical penetration of a particular Soviet establishment, as well as the specific location of the penetration device, and the methods and technology utilized.” The penetration device, sources later revealed, was a tunnel under the Soviet Embassy built by the FBI and operated by the National Security Agency. It probably cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Residents of Glover Park were abuzz. If the tunnel ended under the Soviet Embassy, where did it begin? Some thought the entrance was in a house on Wisconsin Avenue facing the embassy’s entrance. Others thought it was a house on Fulton Street, at the end of Bellevue Terrace, about as close as it’s possible to get to the Russian compound. In a 2013 presentation at the Spy Museum, David Wise, author of a book on Hanssen, said that wherever the tunnel entrance is, it has been sealed with cement. Calls to the company remodeling the house were not returned.



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