FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers at the Senate Intelligence Committee’s annual open hearing on the greatest threats to the country something shocking. When asked about the greatest threats to the country, Wray told Senator Marco Rubio that Chinese spies were targeting academic institutions throughout the country. Rubio then emphasized that the fields of science and mathematics appeared to be particular targets and Wray agreed with him.
FBI Director Christopher Wray at the annual open hearing. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Wray then went on to emphasize that these “spies” could be anyone in the academic sector.
“The use of nontraditional collectors, especially in the academic setting—whether its professors, scientists, students—we see in almost every field office that the FBI has around the country.” — Christopher Wray
Wray later admitted that the FBI is currently monitoring several educational institutes in the country with a particular emphasis on the Confucius Institute (a non-profit organization that encourages Chinese culture and language). Senator Rubio, another critic of the Institute, revealed he has even sent out letters to various Florida schools urging them to cut ties with the program.
“We have seen some decrease recently in their own enthusiasm and commitment to that particular program but it is something that we’re watching warily and in certain instances have developed appropriate investigative steps.” — Christopher Wray
Many Asian-American advocates have expressed their outrage at these allegations made by Wray. Asian Pacific American Advocates (aka OCA) thought that Wray’s comments were both dishonest and insulting.
“It is dangerous and irresponsible for him to accuse many individuals seeking a higher education, or to contribute to their field of study, of spying.” — OCA