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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 14th April 2017 > CHINA CHECKERS


As Beijing expands its efforts to recruit CIA spies, some fear Chinese moles have dug their way into Langley


GLENN DUFFIE Shriver looked like an ideal CIA recruit. Gregarious and athletic, the 28-year-old from Michigan had been a good student with strong interests in world affairs and foreign languages since childhood. What made him even more attractive as a prospective CIA employee, however, was that he had studied and worked in China and was fluent in Mandarin.

But when CIA investigators began digging deeper into his experiences in China, they began to suspect that he had been dispatched by Beijing’s spymasters. Under questioning during his pre-employment polygraph test in 2010, he grew so nervous that he withdrew his application on the spot and virtually bolted from the room, according to subsequent accounts. Months later, as he was boarding a plane to leave the U.S., he was arrested by the FBI and charged with trying to infiltrate the CIA as a Chinese mole. He was sentenced by a federal court in Virginia to four years in prison.

Today, the Shriver case is still rattling the CIA, according to sources with deep familiarity with the spy agency’s China coverage. While Beijing’s premier espionage service, the Ministry of State Security, or MSS, had previously focused on penetrating U.S. security by seducing or blackmailing Chinese-Americans, the Shriver case showed a new and daring attempt to recruit students from Norman Rockwell’s America.

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