Sweden expels Chinese diplomat after uncovering Uighur spy

Babur Mehsut

Babur Mehsut

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
On June 16, intelNews drew attention to a little-noticed news report from Sweden concerning the arrest of an unidentified spy who was caught keeping tabs on an undisclosed immigrant group in the country. The spy turned out to be Babur Mehsut, a Uighur exile with dual Chinese-Swedish nationality, who was apparently monitoring the political activities of Sweden’s Uighur community on behalf of Beijing. Sweden’s security service (SAPO) and the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs have declined commenting on the case. However, Swedish authorities have charged Mehsut with “unlawful acquisition and distribution of information relating to individuals for the benefit of a foreign power”, and earlier this week ordered the expulsion of a Chinese diplomat stationed in Stockholm. China responded a day later with the expulsion of a Swedish diplomat from Beijing. It is worth noting that Swedish authorities said that Mehsut operated in Sweden as well as abroad, including in the United States, where he attended the Third General Assembly of the World Uighur Congress, which was held in Washington, DC, last May. Observers believe that Mehsut’s activities form part of a worldwide Chinese intelligence network tasked with monitoring dissident expatriate groups, including the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs, many of whom support territorial autonomy from China. What is most interesting, however, is that Sweden reportedly has a Uighur population of no more than 100. One therefore wonders what the level of Chinese “immigrant intelligence” activity is in countries that host several thousand Uighur exiles, such as Kazakhstan, Canada, Germany and the United States.

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

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