DHS looks to Chinese airline employees suspected of being spies


According to the Department of Homeland Security Information Bureau obtained by Yahoo News, according to information from the Department of Homeland Security in China, it is suspected that the crew of a private airline of the Department of Homeland Security in China is spying on US airports.

DHS employees observed potential information gathering while US authorities were inspecting Chinese scientific researchers leaving the country.

The inspection was conducted by Operations Subtle Fox, a national security program for “high-risk individuals” who are suspected of immigrants or customs violations and who may work as “non-traditional collectors” in Beijing. It was a part.

A non-traditional collector is an individual who is not employed by a national intelligence agency but collects information on behalf of a government or espionage agency. US officials have focused on Chinese students, scholars and businessmen as potential non-traditional collectors.

Air China plane at Los Angeles International Airport. There is a baggage trolley in front of it.

Air China plane at Los Angeles International Airport in 2010. (Daniel J. Macy / Shutterstock)

During an inspection at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), a DHS representative “observed an example of possible support for foreign intelligence gathering by Air China airline employees.” An intelligence report dated November 29 states.

The report was released amid growing concerns about China’s recovery efforts in the United States. In 2018, the Department of Justice launched a China initiative. This is an enhanced program for investigating and prosecuting trade secret thefts, economic espionage, and other information-related US land violations in China. Some criticize the initiative Inconsistent, inefficient and opaque.

The intelligence report has left US universities and now. “It turned out that the crew in Air China uniforms observed CBP operating procedures during the inspection, recorded them electronically, and asked questions,” the report said.

“It is CBP’s policy not to publicly discuss or confirm sensitive information about law enforcement agencies,” a spokesperson for the agency told Yahoo News.

Liu Pengyu, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said: China always requires Chinese companies to adhere to local laws and regulations when doing business abroad. “

The Department of Homeland Security and Air China did not immediately return a request for comment.

Air China plane landing at Los Angeles International Airport.

Air China plane landing at Los Angeles International Airport in 2019. (MichaelRosebrock / Shutterstock)

According to breaking news, Air China employees’ actions “mean that Air China crew may have been asked to spy on U.S. customs authorities.” .. They themselves were trying to identify potential Chinese intelligence efforts.

US intelligence officials have long believed that Beijing’s state-owned airlines are used domestically for intelligence purposes and, in fact, often act as a de facto outpost for the Chinese government.

Air China is in Beijing Global rendition program, Known as Fox Hunt or Skynet, involved in the abduction of US-based individuals, according to US intelligence contractors. They are” [Chinese security officials] “Come in peace with us, or we’ll chop up your family.”

“They tend to use Chinese aircraft carriers,” said an intelligence contractor who is also familiar with Operation Foxley, because the crew is supportive.

Last year, Air China Chinese Consulate officials reportedly In Houston, I submitted fake documents while guiding travelers to the gate for a charter flight to China. July 2020, Trump administration Ordered China to release the shutter The Houston Consulate cites intellectual property theft and other spies.

Also, in 2020, another Chinese state-owned airline, Xiamen Airlines’ Los Angeles-based employee, will ask U.S.-based Chinese researchers to wipe electronic devices before CBP inspection. I instructed. Court documents quoted by The Wall Street Journal.. The researcher was previously taken to the Chinese embassy and was told by officials there to clean her equipment before leaving the United States.

And in 2019, Ying Lin, a longtime employee of Air China based at airports around New York City, said: Convicted of working as an agent Of the Chinese government while at the airline. Mr. Lin served as a courier for Chinese military personnel stationed on a United Nations mission in China, repeatedly transporting luggage for PLA officers on Air China flights, sometimes in the name of the ticketed passenger. I have listed them. In court documents.

In return, Chinese authorities have given Lin access to special duty-free goods and free construction work on her property, prosecutors said.

Cover thumbnail photo: Nur Photo via Nicholas Economou / Getty Images