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US Senate suggests reinstating committee to catch Russian spies — media

June 22, 11:48 UTC+3 NEW YORK
The intelligence bill passed through the Senate committee in May, and now must be passed by the full Senate
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US Capitol building

US Capitol building

© EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

NEW YORK, June 22. /TASS/. The US legislators are pushing the US administration to revive a special committee to crack down on Russian spies working in US territory, BuzzFeed reported on Tuesday.

"In its 2017 Intelligence Authorization Bill, the Senate Intelligence Committee is asking the White House to reinstate a presidentially-appointed group to unmask Russian spies and uncover Russian-sponsored assassinations. The group, which would include personnel from the State Department, intelligence community and several other executive offices, would meet monthly. Along with spies and covert killings, the committee would also investigate the funding of front groups - or cover organizations for Russian operations - "covert broadcasting, media manipulation" and secret funding," the report says.

"A similar interagency body called the "Active Measures Working Group" existed during the Cold War, but it hasn’t been active in decades. This new group would be modeled after its Cold War predecessor, one US intelligence official said on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive bill," the article says.

The intelligence bill passed through the Senate committee in May, and now must be passed by the full Senate, according to BuzzFeed.

"It would also require the FBI to investigate all requests by US-based Russian diplomats to travel 50 miles outside his or her official post to ensure those diplomats have properly notified the US Government of their travel plans. No Russian diplomats could travel outside of that 50 mile perimeter unless all of their colleagues have followed travel rules in the three months prior. The FBI would also be required to notify Congress that the Russians have followed the rules before the travel is cleared by the State Department. The purpose is to ensure the Russians are following proper protocol in their travel," the report says.

"The FBI declined to comment. The Russian embassy could not be reached for comment," according to the website

"The vote to pass the full Intelligence Authorization bill has not yet been scheduled, but will likely be pushed through before the Senate recesses for a long-than-usual summer break in July," the article says.

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