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Izvestia Accuses Daniloff of Seeking Afghan Secrets

September 08, 1986|From Times Wire Services

MOSCOW — The newspaper Izvestia today accused Nicholas Daniloff of using a journalist's cover to ferret out military secrets about Afghanistan and claimed that the American reporter worked with an alleged CIA agent in Moscow.

The article came one day after the KGB told the detained reporter that it had issued a formal espionage indictment against him. (Stories, Page 6.)

The article elaborated on accusations already made against Daniloff and expanded the charges against the reporter beyond the scope of the original claim that he received secret documents during what was described as a secret meeting with a Soviet citizen in a Moscow park.

The arrest of Daniloff and the espionage charges filed Sunday by Soviet authorities have provoked a sharp reaction in Washington. Reagan Administration officials have said the United States views the case as "a matter of utmost seriousness" that could affect Soviet-American relations.

Link to Alleged Agent

Izvestia tried to link Daniloff to Paul Stombaugh, a U.S. diplomat accused of being a CIA agent and expelled from the Soviet Union in June, 1985.

It cited as evidence a note, allegedly given to a Soviet by Stombaugh, that said: "We would like to assure you that the letter delivered by you to the journalist on Jan. 24 got to the designated address."

Izvestia claimed Daniloff was the journalist mentioned in the letter.

Daniloff has been held in Moscow's Lefortovo prison since he was grabbed by eight KGB agents in a Moscow park. He told his wife, Ruth, that he was picked up after a Soviet acquaintance named Misha gave him a packet purportedly containing press clippings but actually filled with maps marked "secret" and military photographs.

Izvestia claimed that Daniloff asked Misha to get lists of Soviet units bound for Afghanistan, to obtain pictures of Soviet military hardware used there and to find names and addresses of soldiers who served there.

The paper quoted Misha as saying he met Daniloff in 1982 in Frunze, the capital of Soviet Kirghizia in Central Asia near the border with Afghanistan.

'Absolutely Crazy'

The paper quoted Misha as saying, "I became convinced that the journalist from U.S. News & World Report was not exactly what he represented himself to be."

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