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Spy suspect's former co-worker: Smuggling easy

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The man who preceded Robert Hanssen at a crack counter-intelligence unit in the FBI told CNN that it would have been easy for someone to leave the building with classified materials.

CNN's Kelli Arena says 25-year veteran Philip Hanssen is charged with spying for Russia for the last 15 years

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CNN's Kathleen Koch broadcast a Webcast showing the park where Hanssen was arrested and activities the FBI says he conducted there

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"I ... believe you could have walked out," said Richard Alu, a former supervisory special agent, now retired. He said that Hanssen, or anyone else "could have been checked, periodically," but there was "no reason to check him, there was no sign of any particular problem."

Alu, who worked in the unit during Hanssen's tenure there, said the security system includes a reliance on the good faith of FBI agents.

"There's a certain esprit de corps within the FBI," he said. "Everybody trusts everybody else. We have had, over the course of years, very few bad apples in the FBI."

Hanssen, according to documents accusing him of spying for the Russians, allegedly delivered a series of secret and top-secret materials to Soviet and Russian contacts for more than 15 years.

According to an affidavit, FBI surveillance personnel intercepted and examined several packages Hanssen allegedly left at drop sites, and found secret papers and computer diskettes relating to the FBI's Foreign Counterintelligence Program.

"You could put that in your briefcase and walk out," said Alu, who preceded Hanssen in a management position with the unit.

"That's a problem that Judge Webster and his committee is going to have to resolve," Alu said. "They're going to have to take a good look at the security at the FBI as it currently exists."

Former FBI Director William Webster, now a federal judge, has been named to head a blue-ribbon panel to explore security issues at the FBI.

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Federal Bureau of Investigation
Central Intelligence Agency
US Department of State
U.S. Department of Justice
Embassy of the Russian Federation
Russian FSB (former KGB, in Russian)

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