Recently, the country learned that, despite the FBI’s claims to the contrary, Hillary Clinton’s private email server was reportedly accessed by Chinese hackers throughout the duration of her term as Secretary of State.
The subsequent investigation into Clinton’s use of the server, and possible criminal misconduct regarding the handling of classified information, became a focal point during the 2016 election.
Newly obtained information indicates that the Chinese government allegedly captured, imprisoned, and killed approximately eighteen to twenty CIA spies using information thought to have been obtained in the hacking of Clinton’s emails.
According to information gathered by the New York Times, the Chinese government killed a number of US assets between 2010 and 2012, in order to “send a message” to others who were in communications with the American government at the time.
China killed or imprisoned 18 to 20 CIA sources from 2010 to 2012, hobbling U.S. spying operations in a massive intelligence breach whose origin has not been identified, the New York Times reported on Saturday.
Investigators remain divided over whether there was a spy within the Central Intelligence Agency who betrayed the sources or whether the Chinese hacked the CIA’s covert communications system, the newspaper reported, citing current and former U.S. officials.
The Chinese killed at least a dozen people providing information to the CIA from 2010 through 2012, dismantling a network that was years in the making, the newspaper reported.
One was shot and killed in front of a government building in China, three officials told the Times, saying that was designed as a message to others about working with Washington.
The breach was considered particularly damaging, with the number of assets lost rivaling those in the Soviet Union and Russia who perished after information passed to Moscow by spies Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen, the report said. Ames was active as a spy in the 1980s and Hanssen from 1979 to 2001.
The CIA declined to comment when asked about the Times report on Saturday.