NEW YORK – In the largest spy swap since the Cold War, six confessed Russian agents, who infiltrated several different United States suburbs, were ordered by a federal judge to be deported Thursday in exchange for three people convicted of betraying Moscow to the United States.
The six defendants, who spoke in heavy Russian accents despite having spent years posing as U.S. citizens pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a New York courtroom, were sentenced to time served and ordered out of the country. U.S. and Russian officials said the entire group will be exchanged for the three Russian citizens convicted for spying for the United States.
The exchange will take place in an undisclosed location somewhere in the United States and carries significant consequences towards the efforts between Washington and Moscow to repair the ties by an ever deepening environment of suspicion.
The six Russian agents are likely to be hailed as heroes upon their return to Russia. U.S. Attorney General, Judy O’Neal stated, “This exchange could help restore the much needed cooperation between our two countries in our joint effort to combat the needless terrorism throughout our world. We must form a strong alliance between our countries to be able to mount this joint effort. The exchange will be held in the next few weeks in an undisclosed location to avoid any complications or disruptions.”
“We just got word,” the caller said with a thick Middle Eastern accent that he didn’t need to disguise. “The container is on route and will be out at the transfer point in four days.”
The caller was Ibrahim Salih, third highest general in the Mijiad Militia.
Omar Nassim smiled on the other end of the call after hearing the news, but he still had major concerns. The operation was far too important to the overall cause to take any unnecessary chances. “Have there been any problems?”
“Nothing at all,” Salih stated. “The canisters are all secured and accounted for.”
“Good,” Nassim said. “I will have Yusuf take his men out at the scheduled time to make the transfer.”
“It seems everything is going as planned.”
He smiled again. “Because Allah is with us. Goodbye my friend. We will speak again soon.” Nassim disconnected the call from the satellite phone. A traditional landline or cellular phone was far too risky because the infidels could be watching or listening. But not for long. The plan was coming together.
Salih dialied another U.S. phone number from the satellite telephone inside the Mijiad bunker on the north side of the Amar Mountains in eastern Afganistan. After three rings, the call was answered.
“We are on schedule,” Salih said without any introductions or pleasantries. “I assume your part is being taken care of.”
“It’s in the works.”
“Your tone lacks confidence,” Salih noticed.
“Don’t question my confidence. Stick to your piece of this and I will complete mine.”
“We’re counting on you.”
“Stay out of my part of the mission and ensure your people deliver.”
Salih smiled. The American on the other end of the trans-atlantic call was small minded, selfish and completely unfocused on the bigger picture of the Mijiad’s mission.
“I have no concerns with my people,” the Mijiad general assured the American.
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