Analysis: Report discusses foreign espionage targets inside US

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a new strategy report broadly addressing foreign espionage activity in the US. The report, which has been circulated within the National Association of Chiefs of Police, claims that America is “targeted from nearly every corner of the globe”. Citing data from 2003, it states that “dozens of countries” had “hundreds of known or suspected intelligence officers [entering or traveling] within the United States”. Accordingly, FBI counterintelligence investigations spanned the entire country and involved “all 56 [of the Bureau’s] field offices”. More importantly, the FBI strategy report stresses that foreign intelligence activity within the nation is today “far more complex than it has ever been historically” due to its increasingly asymmetrical character. The Bureau claims that “nontraditional, non-state actors” have been noted to operate alongside the more traditional intelligence services sponsored by foreign governments. Furthermore, the report alleges increased targeting of American “national economic interests” in the private sector. It then goes on to explain that the FBI has redesigned its Foreign Counterintelligence Program to extend the definition of “Critical National Assets” to “areas of economic espionage, academic research, and private sector research and development”. It is unclear whether this entails increased economic intelligence and counterintelligence operations against foreign companies competing with US firms for contracts abroad. The European Union has long accused the US of deliberately using its formidable intelligence capabilities to spy on European firms competing with American corporations. [JF]

About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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