FBI Investigating Multiple NASA Centers To Counter Growing Space Espionage Threat

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Federal law enforcement officials are mounting anti-espionage investigations at multiple NASA facilities to counter what FBI Director Robert Mueller believes is a growing threat against U.S. space technology.

“If anything, I would say that the threat is – is more substantial than perhaps it was 10, 15 years ago,” Mueller said yesterday during a hearing of a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee that oversees both NASA and the FBI.

The subcommittee’s chairman if Rep. Frank Wolf, R-VA. Mueller told Wolf’s panel that foreign nationals targeting NASA for espionage purposes are a “significant threat,” and disclosed for the first time that the bureau has “a number of investigations ongoing” at several facilities within the space agency.

He declined to identify the NASA facilities involved or to say how many investigations are being conducted. Mueller’s comments followed the weekend arrest by FBI agents at Dulles Airport of Bo Jiang, a Chinese National who was trying to board a one-way flight to China.

Jiang was employed as a scientist by the National Institute for Aerospace, a contractor at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. Jiang was arraigned Tuesday in federal court.

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