Ana Belén Montes, a Cuban spy who leaked US secrets for 17 years as an employee of the Military Intelligence Agency, was released from prison yesterday, DPA reported.
Montes, 65, has served more than 21 years of her 25-year sentence at a women’s prison in Fort Worth, Texas.
Just ten days after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, Montes was taken into custody in September 2001. Her superiors had already begun to have doubts about her, and they did not want to take the chance that she would divulge the plans for the invasion of Afghanistan.
Facing the potential death penalty, Montes struck a deal with federal prosecutors and, in March 2002, agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage. In return, he received a 25-year sentence.
Montes began his career in Washington in 1979 in the Department of Justice’s Office of Privacy Complaints. In 1984, she was offered to work undercover for the Cuban government. On December 6, 1984, she accepted, investigative journalist Jim Popkin reveals in his book.
The Cubans want Montes to find a job more suitable for espionage. She applied to the Military Intelligence Agency and eventually joined the agency in 1985. From then on, Montes rose through the ranks and eventually became an analyst. She has long been considered a top analyst on Cuban arms issues.
All the while, she betrays her colleagues and sends secrets to Cuba.
Montes unabashedly exposed the identities of hundreds of Americans working on Cuban intelligence around the world; Popkin writes in Code Name Bluebird: The True Story of America’s Most Dangerous Spy and the Sister She Betrayed. Montes’ younger sister works for the FBI as a translator.
Popkin said that the spy revealed the existence of a stealth satellite that is so expensive and top-secret that US government officials still don’t dare say its name.
Popkin also asserted that information leaked by Montes was responsible for the killing of an American Green Beret in Nicaragua, despite the fact that this material was not included in the indictment against Montes.
Montes did not receive a solid remuneration from Cuba for her espionage activities; she worked for the love of the country, but not for her country, DPA points out.
At the time of the lawsuit, Montes said he believed “our country’s policy toward Cuba is cruel and unjust.” “I felt morally obligated to help poison defend itself,” the defendant explains.
Montes left almost no clues about her activities, so much so that the CIA awarded her a Certificate of Excellence in 1997.
Subsequently, Montes arouses suspicion, and the FBI begins to follow her. Pete Lapp – one of the agents who followed her, says that she did not seem surprised when she was arrested.
I think she’s been thinking about this day for 17 years, Lapp told CBS.