Ex-CIA officer indicted as Chinese spy

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(Photo by: Jacquelyn Martin) “They continue their malign activities across the region” said Defense Secretary James N. Mattis during a Senate hearing on Wednesday about Iran. (Associated Press)

 

A federal grand jury in Virginia has indicted former CIA operations officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee for conspiracy to spy for China, in a case that has been under investigation for more than six years.

Federal officials say the case represents one of the most damaging spy cases in the CIA’s checkered history of losing recruited agents to foreign spy services.

Mr. Lee is believed by American intelligence and law enforcement officials to be the cause of the agency losing a large number of its recruited agents in China around 2010. The agency and FBI spent the next eight years trying to find out the source of the losses. Continue reading

Killing C.I.A. Informants, China Crippled U.S. Spying Operations

An honor guard outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last month. The Chinese government killed or imprisoned 18 to 20 C.I.A sources from 2010 through 2012. Credit Wang Zhao/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

 

WASHINGTON — The Chinese government systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward.

Current and former American officials described the intelligence breach as one of the worst in decades. It set off a scramble in Washington’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies to contain the fallout, but investigators were bitterly divided over the cause. Some were convinced that a mole within the C.I.A. had betrayed the United States. Others believed that the Chinese had hacked the covert system the C.I.A. used to communicate with its foreign sources. Years later, that debate remains unresolved.

But there was no disagreement about the damage. From the final weeks of 2010 through the end of 2012, according to former American officials, the Chinese killed at least a dozen of the C.I.A.’s sources. According to three of the officials, one was shot in front of his colleagues in the courtyard of a government building — a message to others who might have been working for the C.I.A. Continue reading