Secret Agent Man

Former double agent Naveed Jamali gives us an inside look at the life of a spy.

At the end of March, following the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in England, the Trump administration expelled 60 Russian diplomats from the U.S. and closed the Russian consulate in Seattle. White House officials said that these weren’t necessarily diplomats, though. More likely, they were spies. Seattle resident Naveed Jamali knows something about this world that we all have been glimpsing from the outside. For three-and-a-half years he worked as a double agent for the FBI and Russian intelligence, an experience that prompted his memoir, How to Catch a Russian Spy. Although the Cold War ended a few decades ago, he says Russia still views the U.S. as enemy number one. This week, in the final episode of Season One of Seattleland, we catch up with Naveed to get the inside scoop on how spy movies and TV shows can become real life—seriously, Naveed lived it all, from clandestine meetings to Hollywood-style showdowns—and why Russian espionage might have a nexus in Seattle.

Music by Leeni Ramadan, BOPD, and Jahzzar

This week’s cover photo is an image of the Samuel Hyde mansion in Seattle, home of the Russian Consul General since the 1990s. Photo by Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons