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Ana Montez, spying for Cuba in ‘most damaging’ spy operation in U.S. history, released from prison

Ana Montez, a former analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency, the U.S. military’s espionage arm, was released Friday from a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, after more than 20 years in prison.

Montez spent 17 years as a Cuban spy, uncovering the identities and intelligence-gathering capabilities of undercover U.S. agents until he was arrested in 2001. At night, she typed up pages of government secrets she remembered and gave them to Cuban intelligence agencies.

Michelle Van Cleave, who was the head of U.S. counterintelligence under President George W. Bush, said: Said In 2012, Congress called Montez “one of the most damaging spies the United States has ever discovered.”

“She compromised everything we knew about Cuba, virtually everything, how we operated in and against Cuba,” Van Cleave said. “So the Cubans were well aware of everything we knew about them and were able to use that to their advantage. In addition, she said in conversations with her colleagues that influences estimates about Cuba. I also found an opportunity to give and give the information she obtained to other forces.”

Her espionage took place around the same time that Robert Hansen and Aldrich Ames spied for the Soviet and Russian intelligence agencies while working for the FBI and CIA respectively. . (Both are serving life sentences.) But Montez’s case was a little different. Hansen and Ames received large sums of money for espionage and physically removed confidential material from their agency.

Instead, Montes was motivated by ideology. Her decision to spy was based in part on her hostility to President Ronald Reagan’s policies toward Latin America, particularly U.S. support for the Nicaraguan Contras. heavily edited report From the Inspector General of Defense.

Montes was recruited by the Cuban Intelligence Service in 1984. That’s when she was contacted by a fellow student at Hopkins University’s Graduate School of Advanced International Studies after she expressed her anger at US actions in Nicaragua. Her student was Access’s agent, who introduced her to Cuban intelligence officials under the guise of needing to translate a Spanish news article about Nicaragua into English. At a dinner in New York City, Montez “without hesitation agreed to work through Cuba to ‘help’ Nicaragua,” the inspector general’s report said.

She then began her espionage career with a clandestine trip to Cuba, where she received training from Cuban intelligence. By the end of 1985, she was working for the United States Defense Intelligence Agency (probably under Cuban direction) and had access to classified information.

Over the next year, Montez met with Cuban handlers at restaurants around Washington, D.C. every few weeks and visited payphones to send encrypted messages to pagers used by Cubans. She received her orders from numerical messages transmitted by shortwave radio. She also ventured to Cuba where she met people.

As Montez climbed the career ladder and received many accolades for her work, the FBI got information about a U.S. government employee who was believed to be spying for Cubans, and turned the Bureau on. Ultimately, it led me to start investigating Montes. Washington Post story.

She was arrested days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks because the Defense Intelligence Agency had shifted its focus to Afghanistan and did not want to risk the passage of Montez in line with the Pentagon’s war plans.

Pete Trapp, one of the FBI agents who investigated and arrested Montez, said he was stoic during his arrest.

“I think she had plans for that day, 17 years if it ever happened,” Rupp told CBS News.

The arrest was humiliating to Montez’s family, some of whom had worked for the FBI. In her statement, they said she had “committed treason” against the United States and were unaware of her espionage activities at the time and did not support her position.

“We continue to deny what she did and what she said she did or could do,” the family said ahead of her release.

Rapp who is writing a book As for Montez, she refused to say where she would go after being released “out of respect for her family”. I’m not expecting

“That part of her life is over,” Rapp said. “She did what she did for them. She can’t believe she would endanger her freedom.”

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ana-montes-spy-for-cuba-released-from-prison/ Ana Montez, spying for Cuba in ‘most damaging’ spy operation in U.S. history, released from prison

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