Special Report

The Most Famous Spies in History

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Aldrich Ames (1941- )

One of the most infamous and damaging CIA moles in history, counterintelligence officer Aldrich “Rick” Ames used his position as an analyst to cripple U.S. investigations in the Soviet Union and made over $2 million in exchange. He also named and compromised dozens of CIA assets in the Soviet Union, leading to many imprisonments and executions. He was eventually caught in 1994 and is serving a life sentence without parole.

Source: FBI / Getty Images

Robert Hanssen (1944- )

In exchange for over $1.4 million in diamonds, bank funds, and cash, FBI agent Robert Hanssen provided classified information to the KGB from 1979 until he was caught in 2001. He gave up the identities of U.S. operatives, details on nuclear operations, and the existence of an eavesdropping tunnel under the Soviet Embassy in D.C. Hanssen is considered the most damaging spy in FBI history and is currently serving a life sentence without parole.

Noshir Gowadia (1944- )

An Indian-born engineer who was one of the designers of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, Noshir Gowadia was arrested in 2005 on espionage charges, including selling defense information to China and other countries and designing stealth equipment Chinese use. He was convicted in 2010 and sentenced to 32 years in prison.

Source: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images News via Getty Images

Sergei Skripal (1951- )

A Russian military intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal acted as a double agent for the U.K. in the ’90s and early 2000s, before being convicted of treason by the Russians in 2004. He was released as part of a spy swap in 2010, and settled in England. On March 4, 2018, he and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent in an alleged attempted murder, but both survived the attack. The Russian agents under suspicion of carrying out the attack are presumed to be residing in Russia.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Ana Montes (1957- )

An intelligence analyst at the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Ana Montes served as a spy for Cuba for 17 years starting in the mid ’80s. She exposed four U.S. spies in Cuba and compromised highly classified programs including a clandestine U.S. Army camp in El Salvador. She was arrested in 2001 and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

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