international intrigue

Did Anna Chapman Try to Seduce an Obama Official? [Updated]

Anna Chapman

Momentarily famous Russian spy Anna Chapman was deported to Russia: Obama officials were worried she was getting near an official in Obama’s inner circle. On a new BBC series called Modern Spies, Frank Figliuzzi, head of counterintelligence for the FBI, said Chapman was a real threat, but will not name the Obama official in question:

“[She got] closer and closer to higher and higher ranking leadership … she got close enough to disturb us. We were becoming very concerned. They [Chapman and the rest of the spy circle] were getting close enough to a sitting US cabinet member that we thought we could no longer allow this to continue.”

The series also features the story of Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, a.k.a “Curveball,” the Iraqi defector who gave false intelligence to U.S officials about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Colin Powell’s former chief of staff, Colonel Lawrence Wilkinson, admits that the U.S government “sexed up” Janabi’s accounts to make war in Iraq seem more palatable.

Update: While Figliuzzi’s above quote is certainly a juicy one — one that, say, works for promoting a new TV show — an FBI spokesperson tells Spencer Ackerman of Danger Room that the widespread reports of an attempted seduction by Chapman are inaccurate.

Why Anna Chapman Was Deported