Former US intelligence officer arrested in Seattle on China spying charges | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 05.06.2018
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Former US intelligence officer arrested in Seattle on China spying charges

The 58-year-old Utah resident held a top-secret clearance for many years and has been charged with trying to spy for China. He was detained in Seattle, about to take a flight to China.

The US Justice Department said on Monday a 41-page felony complaint alleged the man was paid $800,000 (€684,000) for passing on technology and information about US military and intelligence issues.

Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested the man on Saturday while he was on his way to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to catch a connecting flight to China.

Read more: China rejects 'preposterous' African Union headquarters spying report

The man spent more than 20 years in the US Army, including time with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). He left the military in 2006 but worked as a civilian case officer with the DIA for several months.

He then attended trade conferences on behalf of China and is accused of sharing information with officials linked to Chinese intelligence. He also tried to work as a double agent, according to the felony complaint.

Read more: Chinese hackers spying on Indians using WhatsApp, warns army

Department of Justice, Washington

Department of Justice, Washington

'Betrayal'

"His alleged actions are a betrayal of our nation's security and the American people and are an affront to his former intelligence community colleagues," said John Demers, the head of the Justice Department's National Security Division.

The accused appeared in a Seattle court on Monday to hear the 15-count complaint against him.

If convicted, he faces life in prison.

His case is the latest incident of alleged spying by US intelligence agents for the Chinese government. A former CIA case officer, and a former intelligence agent have also been charged with selling intelligence to Beijing.

Read more: FBI agent pleads guilty to working for China

amp/jm (dpa, Reuters)

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