The FBI hopes to recruit spies and lure defectors with advertisements it has placed in a Russian-language newspaper in the United States.
The FBI has begun running daily ads in Novoye Russkoye Slovo, or New Russian Word, asking readers to tell the bureau what they know about Soviet spies operating here and abroad, The New York Times reported Monday."Replies will be kept in the strictest confidence," the ad states.
The FBI has received six calls since the first ad ran Friday but would not disclose what the callers said, the Times said.
James Fox, director of the New York FBI office, told the Times the ad is designed to capitalize on the influx of about 150,000 Soviet emigres since 1975. About 50,000 emigres settled in the New York area.
The American intelligence community has always presumed that the Soviet Union smuggled in agents along with the emigres, and the newspaper ads are aimed at catching those spies, according to the Times.
FBI officials also want to collect information about Soviet criminal gangs that operate in the emigre community, especially in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, the Times said.
The ads, which are costing the FBI $300 a day, are scheduled to run daily for two weeks and then appear intermittently, the FBI told the paper.
The Russian-language newspaper, published in New York, has a circulation of more than 50,000 nationwide, largely in emigre communities.