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Posted at 6:30 PM ET, 01/ 7/2011

FBI spy catcher to run New York counterintelligence

By Jeff Stein

A veteran FBI agent who helped coordinate the case against an elderly Northwest Washington couple who were spying for Cuba has been promoted to run the New York office’s huge counterintelligence program.

Randall C. Thysse, 48, was a counterintelligence section chief at FBI headquarters in 2009 when retired State Department officer Walter Kendall Myers and his wife Gwendolyn, both in their seventies, were arrested on charges of spying for Cuba. (Last July Walter Myers was sentenced to life in prison, his wife 81 months.)

It was Thysse’s second headquarters stint in counterintelligence. From 2002 through 2004, he was responsible for Cuban espionage and internal security.

In his new job as special agent in charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office Counterintelligence Division, Thysse will be responsible for tracking spies from every nation trying to steal American secrets. The United Nations has often been described as "a nest of spies."

“You run up against some very sophisticated targets,” Thysse said in a brief interview. “It’s a different kind of thrill compared to chasing bank robbers,” he added.

A Minnesota native, Thysse was also assistant special agent in the Memphis Division’s national security branch in 2005. He joined the FBI in 1989.

By Jeff Stein  | January 7, 2011; 6:30 PM ET
Categories:  Homeland Security, Intelligence, Justice/FBI  
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