Ex-CIA Officer Suspected of Compromising Chinese Informants is Arrested

Ex-CIA Officer Suspected of Compromising Chinese Informants is Arrested by Adam Goldman – New York Times

A former CIA officer suspected of helping China identify the agency’s informants in that country has been arrested, the Justice Department said on Tuesday. Many of the informants were killed in a systematic dismantling of the CIA’s spy network in China starting in 2010 that was one of the American government’s worst intelligence failures in recent years, several former intelligence officials have said.

The arrest of the former agent, Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, capped an intense F.B.I. investigation that began around 2012 after the CIA began losing its informants in China. Mr. Lee was at the center of a mole hunt in which some intelligence officials believed that he had betrayed the United States, but others thought that the Chinese government had hacked the CIA’s covert communications used to talk to foreign sources of information.

Still other former intelligence officials have also argued that the spy network might have been crippled by a combination of both, as well as sloppy tradecraft by agency officers in China. The counterintelligence investigation into how the Chinese managed to hunt down American agents was a source of friction between the CIA and F.B.I.

Mr. Lee, who left the CIA in 2007 and was living in Hong Kong, was apprehended at Kennedy International Airport and charged in federal court in Northern Virginia with the unlawful retention of national defense information…

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