The head of Russia’s successor to the KGB, the Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB, gave thanks to the Trump administration for recently sharing intelligence that thwarted a planned terror attack on Russian soil. The head spy also said this was not the first time such an incident had happened and that the sharing was a two-way street.
“Not so long ago, the Americans tipped us off about certain individuals and their plans to carry out terrorist attacks in our country,” Director of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Bortnikov told a press briefing after the 18th session of the heads of intelligence, security and law enforcement agencies that are partnering with the FSB, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
In 2017, the US helped in the investigation of a plot to carry out a terrorist attack in the Kazan Cathedral in Russia’s St. Petersburg, while Moscow assisted in investigating the Boston Marathon blasts. According to Bortnikov, Russia maintains counterterrorism cooperation with other countries’ intelligence agencies as well. “We continue activities in this area, engaging intelligence agencies of the Commonwealth [of Independent States], European and Middle East countries,” he emphasized.
“We are very grateful to our colleagues for the information they supply to us,” he noted. “We do the same, providing them with assistance and support, and informing them about all threats that we come across,” Bortnikov added.
“We have always maintained working contacts with the Americans regardless of the situation developing in political relations between our countries,” Bortnikov said. “We have always stressed, and the US side has always agreed, that politics is politics, yet the activity of the authorities on the frontlines must continue. A lot depends on this,” he stressed, reported TASS.
“We maintain working contacts at the level of our experts and heads of special units with the US Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration. These issues are settled not only here, within the framework of our conference [of the heads of security services — TASS], but also bilaterally on the territory of those structures,” the FSB director said.
Bortnikov said U.S. and Russian intelligence agencies area also starting to cooperate again on cyber security.
“There are many issues we are discussing with the Americans, particularly in the domain of ensuring information security, cyber security…is being hashed over now.”
According to him, the discussions are held in a 2+2 format — between defense and foreign agencies. “In other words, we are restoring these ties,” Bortnikov stressed.
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