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Was there a Chinese spy at NASA? Fleeing researcher ‘carrying hard drive and laptops’ arrested on China-bound plane at Virginia airport

By  Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 11:20 EST, 20  March 2013 |  UPDATED: 11:23 EST, 20 March 2013

 

Arrest: Bo Jiang, who worked for NASA, 'failed to disclose the devices he was taking back to China' 

Arrest: Bo Jiang, who worked for NASA, ‘failed to  disclose the devices he was taking back to China’

A Chinese national who worked for NASA has  been arrested at Dulles International  Airport on a one-way ticket to China while potentially carrying highly  confidential U.S. military secrets.

Bo Jiang, who worked for a NASA contractor at  its Langley Research Facility in Hampton, Virginia, was  leaving the country ‘abruptly’ to return to China, according to an FBI  affidavit.

Agents arrested him as the plane pulled away  from the gate on Saturday night after whistleblowers suggested he had previously  taken confidential material out of the country.

He was questioned over the electronic devices  he was carrying, and said he had a cell phone, a memory stick, an external hard  drive and a new computer, the affidavit said.

But agents also found other items, including  another laptop, an old hard drive and a SIM card, leading to charges that he  lied to federal investigators.

He appeared in federal court in  Norfolk on  Monday and will remain in custody at least until a detention  hearing on  Thursday, CBS  reported.

Rep. Frank Wolf, whose district includes the  research facility, accused Jiang of being ‘a Chinese spy’ during a news  conference on Capitol Hill.

Workplace: Jiang had previously taken confidential military information from his workplace at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia to his native China, according to whistleblowers 

Workplace: Jiang had previously taken confidential  military information from his workplace at NASA’s Langley Research Center in  Virginia to his native China, according to whistleblowers

Wolf said he spoke out after whistleblowers  at NASA contacted him to say Jiang and other Chinese nations have taken their  research work to China.

Wolf first named Jiang at  a press conference on March 7, saying that he had previously had unauthorized  access to  sensitive NASA documents, which he might have taken to  China in  2012.

Speaking out: Rep. Frank Wolf accused Jiang of being 'a Chinese spy' during a news conference 

Speaking out: Rep. Frank Wolf accused Jiang of being ‘a  Chinese spy’ during a news conference

The information ‘would be of the greatest  interest to foreign spies, including China’, Wolf said.

He  said Jiang worked on programs for ‘source  code for high technology imaging’ that could be used by the Chinese military.

‘What they did here potentially could be a  direct threat to our country,’ Wolf told Discovery News.

‘The Chinese have the most comprehensive  spying program in Washington that has ever been. They make the KGB look like  they were the junior varsity or freshman team.’

FBI special agent Rhonda Squizzero said the  FBI reviewed these whistle-blower reports that it received from Wolf’s office on  March 13 and concluded that the information was ‘reliable’.

The arrest followed these reports, according  to the complaint.

‘Although we won’t know the nature of the  information on the hard drives until the FBI fully reviews it, we know that Mr.  Jiang has in the past taken sensitive information back to China that he should  not have been allowed to remove from Langley,’ Wolf said

On Tuesday, NASA spokesman  Michael Cabbage said that the  space agency referred a ‘potential security  breach at our Langley  Research Facility’ to investigators earlier this  month.

Seized: He was stopped as his plane was pulling out of Dulles International Airport (pictured) on Saturday 

Seized: He was stopped as his plane was pulling out of  Dulles International Airport (pictured) on Saturday

He did not mention Jiang by name, but said  that ‘the agency takes any allegation of a security violation very seriously’,  CBS reported.

Jiang was employed by a Virginia based NASA  contractor, the National Institute of Aerospace.

The Langley Research Center is the base for  classified research programs into U.S.  space defense technologies.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2296390/Was-spy-NASA-Researcher-arrested-China-bound-plane-hard-drive-laptops.html#ixzz2O8uBhxmI Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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