In a comically ironic move, after all the meddling miasma of the last few years, The FBI is now running Facebook ads to try and target Russian spies and those who know about their work in the Washington D.C. area, according to CNN.
One such advertisement features a photo of a young woman at her graduation with her family. The Russian text over the photo reads: "For your future, for the future of your family."
A second advertisement shows a picture of a chess set and says in Russian: "Isn't it time for you to make your move?"
A third advertisement says "Time to draw bridges" in Russian with a photo of a man walking over a bridge.
The ads then link to a page in the FBI's Washington DC field office that has details in both English and Russian about the FBI's counterintelligence team, asking people to "visit us in person".
The FBI was running these three ads when they were discovered by CNN earlier this week - but they have reportedly been running for the length of the summer.
The FBI didn't confirm any details about the campaign but the ads are viewable through tools that track active advertising campaigns on Facebook.
Alan E. Kohler Jr., special agent in charge of the Washington field office's counterintelligence division said: "We cannot comment except to note that Russia has a large number of intelligence officers based in Russian diplomatic facilities around the world. They are very active and pose a security risk to the US and our allies."
"The FBI uses a variety of means to gather information, including the use of sources. The FBI will use all legal means available to locate individuals with information that can help protect the United States from threats to our national security. Russia has long been a counterintelligence threat to the US and the FBI will continue to adapt our investigative and outreach techniques to counter the threat."
Bob Baer, a former CIA agent said the ads were a good idea: "The thing with Russian spies is 99 percent of them are walk-ins, and these people make the decision on their own completely. Putting it out there and getting in this milieu and seeding the idea of volunteering for the FBI is a good idea."
Counterintelligence at the FBI is tasked with "the detection, identification, and neutralization of hostile foreign intelligence activities," according the FBI website, which also states "The FBI obtains the best intelligence to combat this threat through information provided by the public. If you have information that can help the FBI fulfill this mission, visit us in person."
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