The FBI and the Pentagon are reportedly tracking more than 100 incidents of Chinese nationals disguised as tourists attempting to enter US military bases and other federal facilities.
The culprits, dubbed “gate crashers,” ranged from a Chinese man found breaking into a U.S. missile launch site in New Mexico to a scuba diver caught swimming in murky waters near a U.S. government rocket launch site in Florida. U.S. officials recently told Wall Street. journal. This growing trend represents a potential espionage threat, and officials believe the Chinese government is sometimes forcibly conscripting its citizens to test and report on the implementation of security measures at facilities. ing.
The FBI, the Pentagon, and other agencies conducted a review late last year centered around deterring these incidents. It is unclear how many incidents were benign in nature. For example, some Chinese claim to have followed Google Maps to the nearest McDonald’s or Burger King, which happened to be within a nearby military base.
In another more alarming incident, a Chinese man arrived saying he had booked a hotel inside a military base. A group of Chinese, purporting to be tourists, recently attempted to break through security at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, claiming they were booking a commercial hotel on the base, according to the newspaper.
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Fort Wainwright is home to the U.S. Army’s 11th Airborne Division, which specializes in Arctic warfare.
A Pentagon spokesperson told the WSJ that there have been cases of Chinese nationals speeding through security checkpoints and illegally entering military bases. In such cases, they “often face criminal charges, are barred from further access to the facility, and are escorted out of the case,” the spokesperson said.
Officials told the WSJ that the incident occurred in a rural area, far from commercial airports and where tourists are less common. They said the Chinese frequently used what authorities described as a “scripting language” and claimed to be “lost tourists” when stopped.
A former Senate Intelligence Committee official told the WSJ that this kind of low-level intelligence gathering in China is more of a numbers game, and how the Chinese government, knowing that a few people will be caught, will be exposed. I explained if I was going to put a lot of people into the collection. It is difficult for the U.S. government to prove evil acts beyond trespassing.
The former official added that Americans would not be given the same treatment as ignoring a case as trespassing if they were caught doing the same inside China.
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Democratic Rep. Jason Crowe, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said amid concerns that an increasing number of cases could go unnoticed because most trespassing laws are enacted state and local. He told the Journal that Congress may consider legislation on the issue. And not federal.
The Times reported that an intelligence center based in Key West, Fla., reported a recurring incident several years ago involving a Chinese man who was found swimming and taking pictures in nearby waters. Officials said the US military range also saw repeated incidents of Chinese purported tourists from nearby White Sands National Park breaking into an adjacent missile launch site and taking pictures. In another incident, a Chinese national was caught scuba diving off Cape Canaveral, home to the Kennedy Space Center, which is used as a launch site for spy satellites and other military missions, reports said. , the incident is still under investigation.
U.S. officials also said Chinese nationals at the White House were leaving on tour to take pictures of the grounds, communications equipment and the location of Secret Service and other security personnel.
Few, if any, of these incidents led to espionage charges, officials said.
Two Chinese diplomats and their wives drive into a Virginia base where US Navy SEAL units were deported in 2019. Suspected spy.
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In another trial in 2019, a Chinese woman was jailed for entering Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion without permission, with two passports, four cell phones and other electronic devices. Sentenced to eight months.
Fox News Digital reached out to the FBI, the Pentagon and the White House National Security Council for comment on Monday but did not immediately receive a response.