Ryan Fogle Reveals EDC For CIA Operatives

Reader Joe Almanac writes:

What are this spring’s hottest accessories for the well-heeled CIA case officer in Moscow? Let’s ask Ryan Christopher Fogle. Ryan was rolled up by the Federal Security Service (FSB) yesterday, apparently trying to recruit a Russian citizen as a spy. But before getting PNG-ed (that’s spook- and diplomatic-speak for being declared persona non grata) and given a one-way ticket back to The Land of the Free, the Russians put on a little Cold War-style show and tell. The above photo allegedly shows what Ryan was carrying when he got busted. Let’s check out his EDC load, starting with, of course, the knives . . .

Black knife – I’m no expert and the picture isn’t really high-res enough, but that sure looks like a Benchmade AFO auto (or perhaps a cheap knock-off). In any case, definitely not an innocent looking Opinel ready for picnic use.

Swiss Army Knife – Based on the size of the Photon-type light on the key ring, I’m guessing it’s a politically correct Classic. It’s interesting there are no keys. But there is a small kubaton (maybe packing pepper spray?).

Bear-Worthy OC Spray – It looks like the brand name is Pepper Shield. Better than Binaca for getting rid of pesky comrades with stale-smelling Vodka breath.

Black Flashlight – An old school Mini Maglite, or variation thereof, sporting a snap on filter (my guess is red). Not even a groovy LED Surefire or similar. How gauche.

Bic Lighter – Just in case his contact smokes ( and it’s Russia, so that’s likely) and needs a spark. It’s the little niceties that count when you’re running an agent.

RFID ShieldEssential for keeping nosey spies and security officers from sniffing your passport or anything else with a Radio Frequency ID chip.

Cell Phone – No clue as to brand or model. It sure isn’t a smart phone though. I bet it’s cheap and disposable. Can’t tell if the cable next to it is an ear bud or not.

Spare Batteries – For the cell phone? Nah, doubt it. For the flashlight, maybe. My guess though is the FSB didn’t show off everything they found. Either some battery-powered spy gadget or handheld GPS their tech guys were still playing with.

Handheld Compass – That looks like every Boy Scout’s best friend, the classic Silva fluid-filled compass. Carrying that, along with the next item, he clearly didn’t want to lose his way.

Moscow Street Guide – Hey, it’s a big city.

Cheesy Wigs And Glasses – There are times when you can get away with low-tech and don’t need the Mission Impossible latex masks. Our young CIA case officer apparently was caught wearing a blonde wig.

Cash – According to news accounts, Ryan had a nice down payment in Euros for whomever he was trying to recruit.

And there you have it. An operational CIA load-out, including knives for the spook on the go. A lot less paramilitary than what Raymond Davis got caught with in Pakistan in 2011, but interesting nonetheless.

Joe Almanac is a risk management consultant for international non-governmental organizations.


  1. Matt in FL says:

    Surprisingly low-fi. This ain’t the movies, clearly.

  2. Nate says:

    I thought it was a SOG Flash II when I saw it

    1. ajax says:

      I concur.

  3. Mark Davis says:

    Good write-up.

  4. David says:

    This “kit” has been called a fake that was planted on him for dramatic effect. It’s to obvious and poor tradecraft to be what is actually used so don’t rush out to buy your SOG knife and play secret agent.

  5. PhoneGuy says:

    The phone in the photo above is A NOKIA 1280. You can Google it.

  6. Gabriel Land says:

    Thanks for this breakdown.

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Ryan Fogle Reveals EDC For CIA Operatives

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