A Chinese NASA contractor was arrested Sunday evening at Dulles International Airport on suspicion of espionage as he attempted to “abruptly” leave the United States with a one-way ticket back to China.
U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf announced the arrest of Bo Jiang, a scientist who worked at NASA’s Langley Research Center, but was employed by a Virginia based NASA contractor, the National Institute of Aerospace, the Washington Examiner reported Monday. The Langley Research Center “is the location for classified research programs related to U.S. space defense technologies,” the article said.
Wolf, who is chairman of a subcommittee that oversees NASA’s budget, discussed Jiang at a hearing last week in the House.
Wolf “charged that Jiang had taken ‘voluminous sensitive’ NASA documents back to China on a trip in 2012,” and that “Jiang’s work at the NASA facility had given him access to information that ‘would be of the greatest interest to foreign spies, including China.’”
According to the Examiner:
The FBI is “investigating conspiracies and substantive violations of the Arms Export Control Act,” according to the FBI’s arrest warrant.
Jiang also is charged with making a false statement to federal law enforcement agents, including his attempt to conceal a “laptop, and old hard drive and a SIM card,” according to the FBI agent.
Wolf thanked the NASA “whistleblowers” who brought Jiang’s “security violations” to his and the FBI’s attention.
The Examiner reported:
Wolf said he hopes to learn more about the information contained on Jiang’s hard drive. He said “we know that Mr. Jiang has in the past taken sensitive information back to China that he should not have been allowed to remove at Langley.”
Wolf also said he believes Jiang’s information “may pertain to the source code for high-tech imaging technology that Jiang has been working on with NASA. This information could have significant military applications for the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army.”
At the hearing last week, “NASA Inspector-General Paul Martin said he believes there are nearly 200 Chinese nationals working in positions that afford them significant access to the agency and its programs,” the Examiner reported.