Russian spy Anna Chapman knew something wasn't right when another "illegal" like herself gave her an assignment that went above and beyond her usual job of transferring information via an encrypted computer network.
The supposed co-spy named "Roman," who was really an undercover FBI agent, asked the 28-year-old beauty to deliver a fake passport to another Russian in a face-to-face meeting. That smelled fishy to Chapman, who called her father, Vasily Kushchenko, in Russia, with her suspicions that she had been discovered. Kushchenko has a senior position in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reports the Washington Post, as well as prior KGB experience.
Chapman's father told her to take the fake passport to the New York police. Meantime, the FBI, who was listening to the phone call, knew Chapman's call would tip off her Russian superiors and that they had to work fast, else another spy who was en route to Moscow would get away before the sting operation was complete.
Heeding her father's advice, Chapman took the passport to the First Precinct in Manhattan, which called the FBI. Agents showed up, asked Chapman a few questions, then arrested her. Had Chapman not made that phone call, she might still be in New York and not permanently deported to Russia, as part of a spy swap last Friday that included her and nine other people accused of stealing U.S. trade secrets to the Russian intelligence service.
Chapman's ex-husband Alex Chapman, 30, a British psychologist, was not shocked by the news that Anna was a spy for Russia's foreign intelligence service. He told the UK paper the Mirror that he suspected his ex-wife's activities after he learned her father was a high ranking official for Moscow's security forces, and about her frequent meetings with "Russian friends." Alex Chapman was recently interviewed as part of the global investigation into the spy network.
Chapman married Anna in Moscow in 2002, five months after they met at a party in London. They divorced in 2006. He told the Mirror:
“Her father controlled everything in her life, and I felt she would have done anything for him. When I saw she’d been arrested on suspicion of spying it didn’t come as much of a surprise. Towards the end of our marriage she became very secretive, going for meetings on her own with Russian friends, and I guess it might have been because she was in contact with the Russian government.”
Meantime, private photos of Chapman continue to surface, turning her into an Internet sensation. Her name has consistently ranked among the top Google search terms since her arrest last week.
Surely it's more than just her beauty and sexy body that intrigues us, as pretty young women are a dime a dozen on the web. Even Vice President Joe Biden has taken notice, joking to Jay Leno last Friday that "it wasn't my idea to send her back. I thought maybe they'd take Rush Limbaugh or something."
Anna has what lots of those women don't -- mystery and a line into what all of us imagine as a dangerously romantic life. The key word here is "imagine." I'm sure it was probably just a job to her, much like clerical work. A lot of the information she shared, trade and economic details, was transferred over the computer while sitting in a coffee shop.
Too bad we won't ever know why she did what she did or how she felt about it, or what she feels about the media onslaught into her private life. She's probably not enjoying it, judging by the fact she removed all her Facebook photos, and I would kinda guess the Russian government, which is already pretty embarrassed by the ordeal, isn't going to be arranging any publicity appearances for their flame-haired agent any time soon.
Still, somehow, I can't believe this is the last we will ever hear about Anna Chapman.
Hello, Oprah, are you reading this? Anything you can do?