US Ex-Defense Intelligence Officer Held Over Alleged Spying for China

Clay Curtis
June 7, 2018

From 2012 on, Hansen sought at first to get rehired in the US government to a job with a security clearance, but when those efforts failed, he began contacting former DIA colleagues, according to the complaint.

Investigators eventually learned that from 2013 to 2017, Hansen attended US government-sponsored conferences on IT security, sometimes trying to "conceal his attendance" with misleading personal details, and gathering information for Chinese agents, according to court documents. Some of those communications addressed export-controlled USA technology that Hansen is accused of illegally selling in China.

The Department of Justice has arrested a Utah man for attempted espionage after he was apprehended at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport preparing to board a flight for China.

If convicted of the the charges, Hansen faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

He faces 15 espionage charges, including attempting to gather or deliver national defence information to aid a foreign government and acting as an unregistered foreign agent.

In searches of his luggage over the years, investigators found a passcode-protected thumb drive hidden behind a sock in the toe of a shoe, documents listing the locations of U.S. Cyber Command outposts and tens of thousands of dollars in cash, according to the Times.

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Hansen had worked for the American government as a case officer, first as a military employee and then as a civilian contractor.

Reached by phone late Monday, an obligation officer within the press workplace on the Protection Intelligence Company's headquarters in Washington stated that he was not aware of the case towards Mr. Hansen. He was unaware of the probe, and participated in nine voluntary meetings with federal agents in Salt Lake City.

The Department of Justice claims Hansen repeatedly tried to regain access to classified information after he stopped working for the U.S. government, offering to serve as a double agent against Chinese intelligence agencies.

Prosecutors say Hansen was paid at least $800,000 over the years, including receiving a $300,000 "consulting" fee. He is accused of having provided information on the CIA's network of Chinese informants that was brought down by Beijing between 2010 and 2012, effectively crippling a large part of US intelligence operations in the region.

The FBI warned Hansen not to accept the Chinese agents' offer and demanded that he report any further contact. The informant met Hansen near the airport and brought two classified documents, which Hansen reviewed and took notes on, agents wrote. Eventually Hansen tried to solicit classified information from a law enforcement source and that tipped off authorities.

After the meeting, the Federal Bureau of Investigation source dropped Hansen off near the airport.

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