Urhobo Voice
Nigeria NewsLatest Nigeria News Update!

Barack Obama closed Russian ‘Spy Nest’ in Maryland

Barack Obama

Just outside the small town of Centreville, ripples of the Cold War are being felt as some believe Barack Obama decision to expel Russian diplomats from a 45-acre compound linked to espionage may be reversed.

A lavish property sits on 45 acres of land – a country retreat, according to the Russians.

But in December, Barack Obama called it a “spy nest” and closed the compound down.

Those inside were given until noon to leave, resulting in a parade of cars with diplomatic plates leaving in convoy down the long driveway.

When we go to look at it, it is only forests and flat fields we can see.

But the locals have plenty to tell us.

In an Irish pub, everyone has a tale. The barman says he doesn’t care about the allegations of espionage or see a problem with the Russians being there – he says everyone with a computer represents a cyber threat.

Across the room, many others say they often saw the Russians in supermarkets, restaurants and antique stores – but few seem concerned by what may have been going on since 1972.

Later on I meet Michael Whitehill, an engineering consultant with an endearing tale of detente.

He tells me he was having a few stiff drinks in a bar in the 1980s when he complimented one of the compound employees on his naval uniform T-shirt. The man went to the bathroom and gave it to him.

He pulls it out of his pocket to show me, worn for many years.

“It was my Red October moment,” Mr Whitehill says, referring to the submarine in the Tom Clancy novel The Hunt for Red October and subsequent film.

Back in Washington DC I meet James Bamford, who has written three books on the NSA.

He sees Barack Obama’s move as a symbolic gesture – a punishment for Russia’s alleged meddling in the US election, but an attempt to avoid all out cyber warfare.

Mr Bamford says the Russian exodus from Maryland may well be a temporary one, but the cyber threat is here to stay.

He believes ordinary Americans, unprotected by government agencies, are the ones at risk – with businesses and hospitals also in the firing line.

He claims the media have overhyped Donald Trump’s apparent overtures to Russian president Vladimir Putin and believes the President-elect is right to question intelligence agencies, who have got it fatally wrong in the past.

According to Mr Bamford, the real threat from Russian espionage is at the Russian embassy right here in Washington DC.



Rev Francis Waive

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.