A national intelligence community official says the FBI is looking into whether the U.S.-based director of a Russian government-run cultural exchange program is a spy who tried to recruit young Americans as intelligence assets.
The publication Mother Jones, which first reported the probe, said the organization run by Yury Zaytsev has footed the bill for about 130 Americans to visit Russia. The 130 include political aides, nonprofit advocates and business executives.
The publication said Zaytsev or his associates had begun to build files on participants.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe was still under way.
Zaytsev does not have Washington phone listing. The center where he works referred calls to the Russian Embassy, which did not answer the phone late Wednesday.