espionage

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US Asks 12 Russian Diplomats to Leave

UN ambassador finds explanation inadequate

(Newser) - US officials accused 12 Russian diplomats at the United Nations of "espionage activities" on Monday and asked them to leave the country. The US said the expulsions had been in the works for months, long before Russia invaded Ukraine, CNN reports. But Vassily Nebenzia, Russian ambassador to the UN,...

Engineer Pleaded Guilty in Spy Case. Now, His Wife's Plea

Diana Toebbe enters guilty plea days after Jonathan Toebbe in plot to sell sub secrets

(Newser) - A Maryland woman pleaded guilty Friday to her role in a plot with her husband to sell submarine secrets to a foreign country. Diana Toebbe entered the plea in federal court in Martinsburg to one count of conspiracy to communicate restricted data. Prosecutors said they'd seek a prison term...

Navy Nukes Engineer on Spying: 'Guilty, Your Honor'

Jonathan Toebbe, accused of conspiring to sell sub secrets with wife, will likely see at least 12 years

(Newser) - Update: Jonathan Toebbe, the Navy engineer accused with his wife of conspiring to sell secrets about nuclear propulsion systems on US subs to an unidentified foreign country, entered a new plea on Monday in a West Virginia federal court. "Guilty, your honor," the 43-year-old told Magistrate Judge Robert...

FBI Director: China's Spying Has 'Reached a New Level'

Country has stolen more data 'than every other country combined'

(Newser) - FBI Director Christopher Wray says China's economic espionage campaign is more damaging than ever, which is saying something, considering the scale of the Chinese government's spying stunned Wray when he became FBI director in 2017. "This one blew me away. And I'm not the kind of...

Secrets, Cryptocurrency Still Missing in Submarine Spy Case

Jonathan and Diana Toebbe plead not guilty

(Newser) - Two alleged spies arrested earlier this month are still in jail—and prosecutors say it would be too risky to release Jonathan and Diana Toebbe on bail while the nuclear submarine secrets they are accused of trying to sell to a foreign government are still unaccounted for. At a hearing...

Navy Engineer, Wife Arrested, Face Espionage Charges

DOJ says he hid data in a peanut butter sandwich

(Newser) - A Navy nuclear engineer and his wife are facing charges of trying to sell secrets to a foreign government. Jonathan Toebbe and his wife, Diana, are accused of agreeing to exchange data for thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency, the Baltimore Sun reports. The couple, who live in Annapolis, MD, were...

US Diplomats are Falling Ill in Austria

Vienna's diplomatic community sees rash of 'Havana syndrome'-like mystery illness

(Newser) - The Biden administration is investigating multiple incidents of US diplomats in Austria suffering from a mystery illness not unlike what struck their counterparts in Cuba years earlier. Twenty officials in Vienna have reported symptoms since the president took office this year, the New Yorker first reported Friday. Per BBC , the...

She Says She Gave Up Secrets for Love, Gets 23 Years

Military linguist Mariam Thompson gave info to foreign national with links to Hezbollah

(Newser) - "I just wanted to have somebody to love me in my old age," 63-year-old Mariam Taha Thompson told a sentencing hearing this week. Prosecutors said that was a poor excuse for passing US military secrets—including the names of informants—to a foreign national she knew had links...

FBI Chief: Every 10 Hours, We Open a China Investigation

Christopher Wray told Senate panel the FBI has had more than 2K investigations tied back to China

(Newser) - Prominent on the FBI's "What We Investigate" page is a section dubbed "The China Threat," which the agency describes as the "counterintelligence and economic espionage efforts emanating from the government of China and the Chinese Communist Party" that have become the FBI's "top...

China Takes Big Step in Feud With Canada

The '2 Michaels' to go on trial within days for spying

(Newser) - The Chinese government will put two Canadians on trial for espionage within days, despite international calls for their release. Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arrested in 2018 in what was widely seen as retaliation for the arrest of Meng Wanzhou , an executive and the daughter of the founder of...

After 30 Years Behind Bars, Spy Is Now 'Home'

Jonathan Pollard, ex-analyst for US Navy, has been granted citizenship in Israel

(Newser) - Jonathan Pollard, who spent 30 years in US prison for spying for Israel, arrived in Israel early Wednesday with his wife, triumphantly kissing the ground as he disembarked from the aircraft. "We are ecstatic to be home at last after 35 years," Pollard said as he was greeted...

Treasury, Commerce Hit by Hackers in Monthslong Breach

'Unacceptable risk' to government tied back to hugely popular server software

(Newser) - US government agencies were ordered to scour their networks for malware and disconnect potentially compromised servers after authorities learned the Treasury and Commerce departments were hacked in a monthslong global cyberespionage campaign, discovered when a prominent cybersecurity firm learned it had been breached. In a rare emergency directive issued late...

Report: Chinese Spy Slept With 2 Midwest Mayors
Report: Chinese Spy Slept
With 2 Midwest Mayors
investigation

Report: Chinese Spy Slept With 2 Midwest Mayors

Axios investigation uncovers alleged espionage of woman based in Bay Area

(Newser) - Axios is out Tuesday with the results of a yearlong investigation that makes some big claims about Chinese espionage tactics. The story by Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian focuses on a young woman identified as Christine Fang, or Fang Fang, who established herself as a presence in Bay Area politics, first as...

Ever Wanted a KGB-Era Lipstick Gun? Now's Your Chance

NYC museum dedicated to Cold War espionage shuts down for good

(Newser) - What's been billed as the world's largest collection of KGB memorabilia has been on display in Manhattan for nearly two years, the labor of love of a Lithuanian collector who wanted to share with the world these 3,500 or so remnants of the Cold War. Now, per...

Assange Outburst Leads to 'Clear Warning' From Judge

WikiLeaks founder on thin ice after shouting during witness testimony in London courtroom

(Newser) - A judge threatened to have Julian Assange thrown from the London courtroom where he's fighting extradition to the US from Britain on Tuesday after he shouted from the dock during witness testimony. "If you interrupt proceedings and disrupt a witness who is properly giving their evidence, it is...

US: Former Green Beret Sold Out His Country

Peter Rafael Dzibinksi Debbins is accused of sharing secrets with Russian operatives

(Newser) - A former Green Beret was collared Friday and accused of conspiring with Russian intelligence agents for over 15 years, the Hill reports. Peter Rafael Dzibinksi Debbins, 45, allegedly gave operatives of the GRU—Russia's foreign intelligence agency—sensitive information between 1996 and 2011. That included "details of his...

Rubio: Chinese Consulate Was a 'Massive Spy Center'
Rubio: Chinese Consulate
Was a 'Massive Spy Center'
THE RUNDOWN

Rubio: Chinese Consulate Was a 'Massive Spy Center'

State-run newspaper runs poll on which US consulate Beijing should close

(Newser) - The Chinese consulate in Houston was a "massive spy center," lawmakers say—and the fact that officials were seen burning documents at the Texas facility after the government ordered it to close seems to confirm it. The Houston Fire Department, which was praised by Chinese officials after putting...

Russia Sentences American to 16 Years in Prison

Former Marine Paul Whelan convicted of spying

(Newser) - A former US Marine just got handed a 16-year prison sentence in Russia for spying. Paul Whelan , 50, insists he's innocent and was set up in a bogus sting operation, reports the BBC . On Monday, he held a sign in court reading "sham trial!" Whelan was arrested...

Newly Uncovered Atomic Spy May Have Been Key for Soviets

Newly released files suggested Los Alamos mole turned over important advances

(Newser) - Given the secrecy around the Manhattan Project in the 1940s, American scientists and historians have never been sure how the Soviet Union managed to join the atomic age as early as it did. Four years after the US set off the first atomic bomb, the Soviets detonated a similar one....

Report: Chinese Diplomats Entered Base, Claimed They Were 'Lost'

Beijing didn't retaliate after they were kicked out of US

(Newser) - The Chinese and American governments have declined to comment, but insiders say two Chinese diplomats were kicked out of the US this fall after entering a sensitive military installation and claiming it was an innocent mistake. Sources tell the New York Times that the officials and their wives drove to...

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