This week, Democrat lawmaker Eric Swalwell has been the epicenter of a bombshell story fit for the movie theaters. The “you have to see it to believe it story” involves a female Chinese spy targeting a young up-and-coming politician to latch onto before he became a player on the national stage to gain sensitive information. While the story sounds like one-in-a-million intelligence officials actually believe that there may already hundreds if not thousands of Chinese spies operating within the Unitde States.
The story begins in 2011, with Eric Swalwell, a young Democrat from California, meeting suspected Chinese spy Fang Fang who renamed herself Christine Fang. Fang came to the United States under the guise of going to a California college. She then positioned herself to become a “bundler”, someone who secures big donors for Swalwell’s re-election campaign. While working closely with Swalwell Fang was also able to place at least one intern in the politician’s office.
In 2015, Swalwell received a “defensive breifing” regarding Fang’s suspicious activities and he immediately cut off all ties to the suspsected spy. That same year Fang fled the U.S.
While the story sounds uncommon intelligence officials suspect that there many be thousands of spies using similar tactics as Fang, coloquially dubbed the “honey trap.”
The New York Post reports:
“I can say with a high level of confidence that there are many more of these women out there,” Daniel Hoffman, a retired CIA Senior Clandestine Services Officer, told Fox News. “China’s MO is to flood the zone.”
“The goal is to become a trusted individual with who (the target) can share information. The spy here would have wanted to learn everything she could about his personality, every little detail of his leadership style to build a profile,” Hoffman said. “The idea here is to latch on to someone like a Swalwell when they are a junior and make contacts. It is much harder to do that when someone is already big and well-known. (This spy) recognized that.”
“The females who are employed in this tactic place themselves in a position where they come into contact with the targeted individual. The target is almost always a male, but there have been some instances of females also falling prey to this,” observed Del Wilber, a former U.S. intelligence officer. “The goal is to get the target into a compromising position, usually with photos or video evidence of their indiscretions.”
In other cases, the honey trap can be centered on collecting incriminating intelligence personally and professionally, to later destroy an ascending or already high-ranking career. Traps typically begin with perhaps an offer to help a political campaign or struggling business with personal expertise or via funding, and relations steadily swell from there.
It’s disturbing to imagine the most powerful nation in the world being infiltrated by spies. Do you believe other politicians have been targetted by these spies? Tell us what you think in the comments below.