(Newswire.net— February 10, 2018) –The CIA and NSA were engaged in secretive negotiations with a Russian man who claimed he is an intermediary to the highest circles of Russian spy networks and cyber criminals.
The man whose identity wasn’t revealed allegedly promised to deliver a classified hacking tool developed by the NSA but allegedly stolen by Russian government sponsored cyber criminals. The cyber-weapon was allegedly used by Russians to hack the US presidential elections.
Instead of getting the cyber-weapon, the US spies received documents that have already been published on the Internet, but not before they paid $100k to the alleged middle-man, the New York Times reports.
Reportedly, “the Russian connection” demanded a $10 million fee for retrieving a hacking tool that was allegedly stolen from the US spy agency, but he eventually agreed to $1mn. The sum of $100,000 was a first down payment that the Russian “middle-man” received.
The story that US agents were able to prove Russian meddling into the US 2016 presidential elections gained huge publicity after the Pulitzer award laureate James Risen cited the “source” in his article published by The Intercept.
According to the NYT, US agents just wanted their cyber-weapon retrieved and didn’t show any interest in files related to Trump. That was, however, all that the US agents received – a bunch of documents that already went public on the Internet, Russia Today reports.
The United States intelligence officials said they cancelled the deal fearing that information on the US president could create discomfort in the White House and destabilize the US government. Also, the reason for cutting down ties with the Russian “middle-man” is because “buying scurrilous information on the president,” could seriously damage the agencies.
“The distinction between an organized criminal and a Russian intelligence officer and a Russian who knows some Russian intel guys — it all blurs together,” said Steven L. Hall, the former chief of Russia operations at the C.I.A. “This is the difficulty of trying to understand how Russia and Russians operate from the Western viewpoint,” he told the NYT.
Rumors that Russian intelligence possesses a video of Donald Trump secretly meeting with Russians surfaced more than a year ago in an explosive and unverified dossier compiled by a former British spy. It was later revealed that this rumor was sponsored by the Democrats.
Since then, at least four Russians with espionage and underworld connections have approached US intelligence officers offering this video for substantial amounts of money.
Reportedly, the Russian middle-man was given several chances to deliver what he had promised. The last time he was asked and didn’t have what he was paid for, the man was ordered to either start disclosing names in his network or to leave the US and never return. The man just said “thank you” took his suitcase and left, the NYT cited the source.