They looked like innocent victims of parents with a dark secret. But now a published report indicates that there may have been more to the story.
The Russian spies who lived in Cambridge were grooming one of their sons to follow in their footsteps, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Journals says agents Donald Heathfield and Tracey Foley told their son Tim of their double life, asked him to join their trade, and he agreed.
The Journal said current and former officials knew about the discussion based on surveillance by the FBI that included bugging suspects’ homes.
At the end of the conversation, according to one Journal source, the young man stood up and saluted “Mother Russia.” He also agreed to travel to Russia to begin spy training.
Tim Foley was a 20-year-old student slated to begin his junior year at George Washington University when his parents (whose real names were Andrei Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova) were exposed in 2010. His brother, Alex, was attending the International School of Boston.
The United States sent the family — along with other Russian agents who had been operating secretly in the country — back to Russia.
The head of the Boston FBI office, Richard DesLauriers, said in 2010 that the FBI suspected Tim Foley knew about his parents’ double life. But he said the FBI had no reason to believe Alex Foley knew what his parents were doing.