Soviet spies buried explosives across the United States and Europe as part of a Cold War sabotage campaign that targeted power stations such as those in New York State, fuel pipelines and other infrastructure sites, a former KGB official said.
The KGB also planted rumors that the CIA assassinated John F. Kennedy and that J. Edgar Hoover was gay, the official said.
The revelations are included in a new book co-authored by ex-Soviet spymaster Vasili Mitrokhin and discussed in an interview that he gave to the British Broadcasting Corp. Excerpts of the interview will be broadcast on "60 Minutes" at 7 p.m. today on Channel 4.
Mitrokhin said that for years he copied top-secret documents by hand and smuggled them from Russian intelligence headquarters.
He wrote "Sword and the Shield: Secret History of the KGB" with Christopher Andrew, a British academician who spoke with "60 Minutes" about Mitrokhin's note-taking and smuggling activities over a 12-year period that began in the early 1970s when he was put in charge of moving the KGB archives to a new site.
A major disclosure involves Mitrokhin's claim that Soviet spies surveyed hundreds of potential sabotage sites in the United States and Western Europe in the 1960s and 1970s. "As part of that," according to 60 Minutes, "they buried booby-trapped arms caches near some of the targets." The explosives presumably are still there.
One of the first targets identified by the KGB was an oil pipeline running from El Paso, Texas, to Costa Mesa, Calif. The Hungry Horse Dam in Montana also was on the list as was a "tremendously elaborate system" for knocking out electrical power to New York State, "60 Minutes" reports.
Mitrokhin's files did not "spell out" how many explosives were buried in the United States or their exact locations, according to "60 Minutes," but Andrew said in his interview that the Kremlin knows where they are.
Mitrokhin said the KGB forged documents to pin the blame for Kennedy's death on a right-wing conspiracy involving the CIA.
In its attempt to establish a link between Kennedy's assassination and the CIA, the KGB secretly bankrolled the first book published in America about the incident, "Oswald: Assassin or Fallguy," "60 Minutes" reports.
The KGB also falsified a letter supposedly written by Lee Harvey Oswald to E. Howard Hunt, a former CIA officer. The letter looked so real that it even fooled Oswald's widow, "60 Minutes" says.
KGB agents also mailed forged letters to major U.S. newspapers to support rumors that Hoover, then the FBI director, was a homosexual.
Mitrokhin, 77, who lives as a British citizen under an assumed name, was motivated by apparent disillusionment over Soviet crackdowns on dissidents.