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Tag: China

U.S. Marshals Service Arrests Chinese Researcher Accused of Visa Fraud to Steal University Research

Juan Tang, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Marshals Service arrested a Chinese researcher accused of visa fraud for allegedly lying about her ties to her country’s military in order to receive an application to work in the U.S.

Juan Tang, 37, was among four researchers who have been charged with visa fraud after federal authorities said they believed the Chinese consulate in San Francisco was harboring her. The other three researchers were previously arrested.

Tang was being held in the Sacramento County jail, USA Today reports.

The Justice Department says Tang lied on two occasions about her military ties in a visa application in October.

Federal authorities suspect the four suspects were trying to steal research from American universities.

Tang was a visiting researcher in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of California in Davis.

FBI Suspects Chinese Consulate in San Francisco is Harboring Scientist Charged with Visa Fraud

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI suspects the Chinese consulate in San Francisco is harboring a Chinese scientist accused of visa fraud.

Tang Juan and the three other researchers have been charged with visa fraud for allegedly lying about their ties to the Chinese Military to receive applications to work in the U.S.

Three of the researchers have been arrested, while the FBI believes Tang has been hiding for weeks in the Chinese consulate in San Francisco.

In an interview with the FBI, Tang insisted she did not serve in the military, despite evidence to the contrary.

The Justice Department suspects the researchers are trying to steal research from American universities.

“This is another part of the Chinese Communist Party’s plan to take advantage of our open society and exploit academic institutions,” John Demers, the Justice Department’s top national security official, said in a statement, according to The Associated Press.

Homeland Security: China Downplayed Severity of Coronavirus While Hoarding Medical Supplies

SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of the coronavirus, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Chinese government likely “concealed the severity” of the coronavirus outbreak in early January so it could hoard medical supplies needed to fight the contagion, according to an intelligence report from Homeland Security.

Meanwhile, China dramatically increased imports and decreased exports of medical supplies before the World Health Organization knew how serious the disease was, according to the four-page report obtained by the Associated Press

“We further assess the Chinese Government attempted to hide its actions by denying there were export restrictions and obfuscating and delaying provision of its trade data,” the report states.

China first alerted WHO about an unknown, pneumonia-like disease on Dec. 31, 2019, and continued to provide some updates about the mysterious outbreak throughout January 2020.

The Trump administration recently ramped up rhetoric about China not being forthcoming about the severity of the virus.

Intelligence Report Sounded Alarm on Coronavirus in November

SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of the coronavirus, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The coronavirus outbreak that is rapidly sweeping across America, claiming lives and wrecking the economy, should have been no surprise to the Trump administration because of warnings about the contagion as far back as November.

The U.S. military’s National Center for Medical Intelligence issued a report in November that warned about an out-of-control virus spreading across China’s Wuhan region, ABC News reports, citing officials familiar with the document.

The report, which relied on wire and computer intercepts and satellite images, warned that U.S. forces in Asia were at risk.

“Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event,” one of the sources said of the NCMI’s report. “It was then briefed multiple times to” the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff and the White House.

But on Jan. 22, Trump’s first comments about the virus were dismissive of its threat to the U.S. In a CNBC interview, Trump was asked, “Are there worries about a pandemic at this point?”

The president responded, “No. Not at all. And we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”

‘More Than 10,000 spies’ Roam Washington D.C. for Secrets, And They’re Hard to Identify

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Among the civil servants, business people, diplomats, tourists and law enforcement officials in Washington D.C. are “more than 10,000 spies,” according to the International Spy Museum.

Although the actual numbers are in debate, the FBI agrees the city is flush with spies.

“It’s unprecedented — the threat from our foreign adversaries, specifically China on the economic espionage and the espionage front,” Brian Dugan, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, told WTOP for a three-part series on espionage.

The spies come from all over, and they’re increasingly using technology in an attempt to steal secrets. After all, Washington D.C. is home to more than 175 foreign embassies, chanceries, residences and diplomatic missions. Then there are tens of thousands of international students, and an “untold number of business people with links to foreign intelligence services,” WTOP reported.

“A spy is nondescript. A spy is going to be someone that’s going to be a student in school, a visiting professor, your neighbor. It could be a colleague or someone that shares the soccer field with you,” Dugan said.

Highly skilled spies are trained to become virtually invisible to unsuspecting people, and they’re elusive to even the most trained spy hunters.

Among the most troublesome spies are Russians.

“The Russians are hyper focused on the United States,” John Sipher, a retired CIA official. “They see us as their main adversary, the main enemy. All the elements of state power — whether it be their diplomatic service or intelligence services or police services — are focused on the United States.”
Robert Baer, who was a covert operative for the CIA for decades, said it’s not easy identifying a spy.

“Everybody in the espionage business is working undercover,” Baer said. “So if they’re in Washington, they’re either in an embassy or they’re a businessman and you can’t tell them apart because they never acknowledge what they’re doing. And they’re good, so they leave no trace of their communications.”

One reason spies are becoming so common is they have a lot of people from which to recruit, Dugan said.

“There’s a large population in retirement or getting close to retirement,” Dugan said. “The baby boomers are all leaving and that population is looking for post-government jobs”

He added, “Of course there’s always going to be moments that we’re going to have people decide to cooperate with the enemy.”

FBI Investigates Whether GOP Donor Funneled Chinese Donations into Trump’s Campaign

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating whether a Republican donor and Florida massage parlor entrepreneur illegally funneled money into the President Trump’s re-election campaign from China.

The bureau also is investigator whether Li “Cindy” Yang committed other possible campaign finance violations, The Miami Herald first reported.

A source familiar with the probe said investigators have obtained a federal grand jury subpoena seeking records from Yang’s associate, Bing Bing Peranio, an employee of Yang’s family’s spa business who donated a maximum $5,400 to Trump’s reelection campaign.

The subpoena is targeting records related to the March 5, 2018, donation.

Peranio confirmed to The Miami Herald that she had received a subpoena and that she was interviewed at home by FBI agents Thursday.

FBI agents are investigating whether Yang reimbursed Peranio for the donation.

Yang’s business offered Chinese executives access to Trump and his family at the president’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach. Yang is no stranger there, having promoted events at the club and selling tickets on social media in China.

Former CIA Officer Arrested in Alleged Plot to Dismantle U.S. Spy Network

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former CIA officer long suspected of helping China disable the United States’ sophisticated spy network has been arrested and charged in federal court with the unlawful retention of nation defense information that he’s accused of leaking to Beijing.

The arrest of Jerry Chun Shing Lee at Kennedy Airport in New York on Monday capped a five-year investigation spearheaded by the FBI, the New York Times reports

Federal investigators became suspicious that the CIA had within its ranks a mole when the intelligence agency began losing its closely guarded informants in China. The FBI said it discovered Lee, who left the CIA in 2007 and moved to Hong Kong, was leaking the identities of the informants. 

In 2o12, while Lee was visiting family in the U.S., FBI agents scoured his luggage and found two volumes of handwritten notes containing classified information.

The dismantling of America’s spy network has been considered one of the U.S.’s worst intelligence blunders in recent years. 

FBI: Abduction Suspect Viewed Sexual Fetish Website Before Kidnapping

Abduction suspect Brendt Christensen, via LinkedIn.

Abduction suspect Brendt Christensen, via LinkedIn.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

About two months before police say he kidnapped a Chinese scholar at the University of Illinois, the 28-year-old suspect appears to have visited the most popular sexual fetish networking site on the internet.

Brendt Allen Christensen was charged in the June 9 abduction of 26-year-old Yingying Zhang, who authorities believe is dead. On April 19, federal investigators said Christensen used his phone to visit FetLife.com, a forum that included threads called “Perfect abduction fantasy” and “planning a kidnapping,” CNN reports. 

Christensen, who remains behind bars, is expected in federal court in Urbana on Monday.

FetLife bills itself as “the Social Network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky Community” and was created in 2008 by Canadian software developer John Baku. Since then, the site claims to have more than 5 million registered members.

The site dubs itself as a “safe place for kinksters” and is only intended for consensual adults.

According to the FBI, Zhang was kidnapped during the day after she was running late to sign a lease. Authorities believe she agreed to hop in the case with Christensen, a stranger, after missing two buses.

During surveillance, the FBI said Christensen admitted to kidnapping the Chinese scholar.