The Federal Bureau of Investigation brought a former Soviet intelligence agent before reporters Monday to tell how he had spent a number of years spying in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe.
The agent, identified as Col. Rudolph Albert Herrmann of the KGB, appeared in profile behind a screen in the FBI headquarters auditorium, his voice distorted electronically, Monitor correspondent John Yemma reports. The event was an apparent attempt to embarrass the Soviet Union, one official noted.
Colonel Herrmann gathered mostly nonclassified military and political information on the United States, including US presidential candidates. He lived in New York with his wife and son, operated a free-lance photography business, and traveled freely about the country.
While much of his information was considered "tame" by intelligence experts, Homer Boyton, an FBI spokesman, said that as a KGB agent who entered the country illegally Colonel Herrmann could have become a much more important spy in case of a break in US-Soviet diplomatic relations. Mr. Boyton said Colonel Herrmann was apprehended because of a KGB blunder. After being discovered, he agreed to cooperate as a double agent for the Americans, feeding the Soviet Union false information. He is being resettled in an undisclosed part of the country, with a new identity provided by the FBI.