ASIO breaks down foreign spy ring that hired government official – but China is not responsible


ASIO destroys nest of foreign spies that managed to recruit government official – but China was NOT behind spy ring

  • Double-digit foreign spies have been kicked out of Australia
  • In 2020, ASIO investigated a “nest” of foreign spies who were not from China
  • They targeted relationships with current and former politicians
  • The group has successfully recruited an Australian government title holder










Australia’s domestic intelligence agency ASIO has opened the door to “double-digit” foreign spies over the past year.

Australian Security Intelligence Organization chief executive Mike Burgess presented his second annual Canberra threat assessment on Wednesday.

He said espionage and foreign interference continued to be inflicted not only on the federal government, but on all Australian states and territories.

Last year, ASIO investigated a “nest” of foreign spies – from a country outside the immediate region of Australia – targeting relationships with current and former politicians, a foreign embassy and a state police service, he said.

Australian Security Intelligence Organization chief executive Mike Burgess presented his second annual Canberra threat assessment on Wednesday.

Australia's domestic intelligence agency ASIO has opened the door to 'double-digit' foreign spies in the past year

Australia’s domestic intelligence agency ASIO has opened the door to ‘double-digit’ foreign spies in the past year

Security sources reportedly said the australian that China was not behind the spy ring and that the most likely infiltrators were Russia.

“They were successful in cultivating and recruiting an Australian government security clearance holder who had access to sensitive details of defense technology,” Burgess revealed.

The ASIO investigated, identified and verified the activity, rescinded the government employee’s security clearance, confronted the foreign spies and “took them out of Australia quietly and professionally,” Burgess said.

He said this was just one example of ASIO’s work.

“Over the past 12 months, a significant number of foreign spies and their proxies have either been removed from Australia or rendered inoperative.

“I can’t give you exact details for obvious reasons, but I’m talking about a two-digit number.”

A foreign interference task force has investigated more than 30 cases, with the first charge being laid in Melbourne last year.

Foreign spies were constantly seeking to penetrate government, defense, universities and businesses to steal classified information, military capabilities, political plans and sensitive research, Burgess said.

And they continued to “intimidate members of diaspora communities” while seeking to interfere with democratic institutions.

Australians must have known some of the techniques of espionage.

“Rather than a spy approaching a target at a train station, he is more likely to send a friend a request or a job offer, or a spy can spam a lot of messages, then sit down and see who answers. ‘

ASIO (Australian Security Intelligence Organization) headquarters can be seen in Canberra

ASIO (Australian Security Intelligence Organization) headquarters can be seen in Canberra

When asked if politicians or political advisers with secrets about their behavior to hide could be targeted, he replied: “This is a technique used by foreign intelligence services. If you have something to hide , it could be used by others.

Mr Burgess noted that ASIO will change the language when it comes to violent threats – to terms “religiously motivated” and “ideologically motivated” violent extremism.

“We don’t investigate people because of their religious views – again, it’s violence that is relevant to our powers – but it’s not always clear when we use the term ‘Islamic extremism'” , did he declare.

“It is understandable that some Muslim groups – and others – see this term as detrimental and distorted from Islam, and consider it stigmatizing them by encouraging stereotypes and stoking division. “

Australia’s level of terrorist threat remains “probable”, meaning that there are credible intelligence groups and individuals have the capacity and intention to carry out terrorist activities on land.

Mr Burgess said the arrests in Melbourne showed “this threat is real”.

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