February 11, 2019
A Chinese student linked to Beijing’s Public Security Ministry was sentenced to prison last week for spying on sensitive communications gear at a major military base in Key West, Florida.
Zhao Qianli, a Chinese national who told the FBI he was a music student visiting Florida as a tourist, was arrested by military police Sept. 26 after taking pictures and video at Naval Air Station Key West. He had waded into the surf along a beach at the base to get around a security fence, according to court papers.
Once inside the fence, Zhou began taking images of communications antennas and equipment at a site called an “antenna farm”—sensitive equipment used by the military, anti-drug, and intelligence agencies at the base.
The base is the southernmost point in the United States and home to Southern Command’s Joint Interagency Task Force South, a group engaged mainly in countering illicit trafficking but also charged with intelligence gathering and other military activities.
The base also trains pilots from all services in air-to-air combat. A squadron of F-18 jets and the Army Special Forces Underwater Operations School are located at the base.
This article was posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 at 7:41 am