The Federal Bureau of Investigation discovered more than 100 instances of Chinese citizens pretending to be tourists in order to find information at U.S. military sites, according to U.S. officials.
Given the nickname “gate-crashers,” the Chinese citizens were discovered to have been trying to get onto U.S. military bases or other U.S. government installations either on purpose or by accident, officials from the FBI, Department of Defense (DOD) and other government agencies found, according to the Wall Street Journal.
These incidents have reportedly sparked concern among members of Congress. Democratic Colorado Rep. Jason Crow expressed the need to “train” state and local law enforcement to deal with these encounters.
“We need to work closely with our state and local partners to train them and equip them,” Crow said. “Right now, they don’t know how to deal with it.”
During my time as the head of counterintelligence and law enforcement at DoD we pleaded with DOJ officials to prosecute these infiltrators. DoJ told us it wasn’t a priority for them. I guess they were more concerned with other things (distractions). https://t.co/pTaw7kZ44a
— Ezra A. Cohen (@EzraACohen) September 4, 2023
The so-called “gate-crashers” have reportedly tried to cross onto a U.S. missile range in New Mexico and scuba diving in Florida waters located near a U.S. government rocket launch site, according to the outlet.
Gate-crashers have claimed that they are following their Google Maps directions to McDonalds or Burger King located near these U.S. military installations. In other instances, the gate-crashers are claimed to “be more troubling,” according to U.S. officials.
Ezra Cohen, who worked as the acting under secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that during his time with the agency, he had “pleaded with DOJ officials” to go after these gate-crashers.
“During my time as the head of counterintelligence and law enforcement at DOD we pleaded with DOJ officials to prosecute these infiltrators,” Cohen wrote. “DOJ told us it wasn’t a priority for them. I guess they were more concerned with other things (distractions).”
The news of the “gate-crashers” incidents comes after a Chinese spy balloon entered U.S. airspace earlier this year. The Chinese spy balloon was reportedly able to gather intelligence from U.S. military installations.
“The relevant claims are purely ill-intentioned fabrications,” said Liu Pengyu, a spokesperson with the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. “We urge the relevant U.S. officials to abandon the Cold War mentality, stop groundless accusations, and do more things that are conducive to enhancing trust between the two countries and friendship between the two peoples.”
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