Retired Agent Barbara Verica reviews her espionage case as a first-time, untrained, undercover agent in Manhattan, gathering intelligence and the evidence to prove that Norwegian diplomat Arne Treholt was selling secrets to the former Soviet Union.
The investigation was initiated on behalf of the Norwegian security service who had received information that Treholt, assigned as a member of the Norwegian delegation to the United Nations, was a spy. Barbara’s undercover task—move into the apartment next door and track Treholt’s movements. But things quickly became much more complex when Barbara became friends with Treholt’s wife, Kari Storækre.
(We previously reviewed this case in Episode 018, which was removed from the FBI Retired Case File Review backlist. During this episode, Barbara and I explained why she’s now free to talk about the investigation and agreed to a do-over.)
Barbara served in the FBI for 30 years.
She worked counter-intelligence matters in the New York and Philadelphia Divisions for the first 15 years of her career and investigated economic crimes in the Resident Agency out of Philadelphia for the last fifteen.
Special Agent (Retired)
08/1979 – 07/2009
“One day I’m walking out and the elevator door dings like it usually does. I’m thinking, okay, my elevator’s here. I turn around and he’s getting off the elevator, walking right toward me.”—Retired Agent Barbara Verica
The following are links to articles, books, and a documentary about the investigation of Arne Treholt as a Soviet spy, betraying Norway and international security partners:
NRK – 11/9/2019: “They squeezed me like a lemon” (Use Google Translate for English)
NRK – 11/9/2019: “It developed into something of an orgy” (Use Google Translate for English)
NRK – 1/20/2022: When Barbara tricked Arne (Use Google Translate for English)
New York Times – 2/16/2023: Arne Treholt, 80, Dies; Diplomat Convicted of Spying for Soviets
BBC Select Documentary – National Security: The Treholt Story