China and Iran have hired private investigators in the United States to unwittingly spy on regime dissidents. new york times report.
of Times New York private investigator Michael McKeever was hired by Iran’s intelligence services “in suspicion of plotting to kidnap Massey Alinejad, a prominent Iranian-American journalist” who has criticized Iran’s human rights abuses. made clear.
McKeever, who believed he was working for an international client to track down debtors, monitored Alinejad in her home until the FBI notified him that he was working for “bad guys.” Did.
James E. Dennehy, the FBI’s Newark, New Jersey bureau chief, said: Times.
Such schemes are occurring all over the country, according to. TimesThe FBI has confirmed that McKeever cooperated with authorities and was not accused of wrongdoing, but other agents, such as former NYPD Sergeant Michael McMahon, were accused of wrongdoing because of their role in foreign intelligence operations. landed in hot water.
McMahon was arrested in 2020 for participating in a China-orchestrated conspiracy to stalk a Chinese man legally living in New Jersey and try to pressure him to return home. McMahon claims he didn’t know his client was a Chinese intelligence service, but federal prosecutors said he was a central figure in the scheme and that his client was the Chinese government. accused of recognizing
Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, said: Times Private investigators provide a simple and inexpensive means for foreign regimes to conduct operations against dissidents while keeping intelligence agencies out of harm’s way.
“I think this is low-cost, low-risk state-sponsored terrorism in the 21st century,” Hoffman said.