Ana Montes, ‘very deadly’ double agent who spied for Cuba, freed after 20 years in prison | US News

A former U.S. defense intelligence analyst who became a Cuban double agent and spy during the Cold War has been freed.

Ana Montes, 65, was released after serving 20 years and 25 years, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons website.

During her tenure as an analyst, she admitted to revealing the identities of four undercover U.S. agents to Cuban authorities and revealing secrets too sensitive to be described publicly.

Court records also say she provided documents revealing details of U.S. surveillance of Cuban weapons.

The 65-year-old spent nearly 20 years espionage for Cuba.

She was arrested in September 2001 and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to spy a year later.

Chris Simmons, a former Defense Intelligence Agency investigator who helped investigate Montes, said she was prolific and effective in providing damaging intelligence to the Cubans, who allegedly sold that information to other enemies of the United States.

NBC quoted Mr Simmons as saying: “Many spies in history have dropped information, but she repeatedly tried to get Americans killed in battle.”

“A very deadly woman, a very dangerous woman.”

An undated handout image from 2005 by the U.S. Department of Defense shows Ana Belen Montes moving from George Tenet, director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's Central Intelligence Agency (DCI) ) there to receive a National Intelligence Certificate of Honor.Handout by US Department of Defense/REUTERS This image was provided by a third party
Montes received a National Intelligence Certificate of Honor from then-CIA Director George Tenet

Montes was believed to have been recruited by Cuban intelligence while working in the Justice Department’s Freedom of Information Office from 1979 to 1985, officials said at the time, and asked to seek a job at an agency that could provide Cuba with more useful information.

secret coded message

As a result, she moved to work for the Defense Intelligence Agency in 1985, and was considered a top analyst for the Cuban Army — and was even rewarded for her work.

During that time, Montes received regular coded messages from Havana via short-wave radio, which were strings of numbers, which she would enter into a decryption-equipped laptop that would then be translated into text, prosecutors said.

In sentencing, Montes argued that she followed her conscience and that US policy toward Cuba was cruel
unfair. “I feel a moral obligation to help the island protect itself from our efforts to impose our values ​​and politics
The system just works,” she said.

Under President Joe Biden, the U.S. has eased some sanctions on Cuba but maintained a Cold War-era embargo on the island and tightened restrictions on illegal immigration, hitting record highs amid inflation and drug shortages. record level.

Source link