National security officials, federal prosecutors, and lawmakers are on the lookout for secret police stations that they believe China has established on U.S. soil.
In September, a report by Safeguard Defenders alleged agents of the Chinese regime had been covertly operating in several countries, using secret police stations as a base of operations to surveil Chinese dissidents and even coercing Chinese expatriates to return to China. The Safeguard Defender report alleged one such secret Chinese police station was operating in New York City.
On April 17, FBI agents arrested two men on charges that they helped operate the alleged Chinese secret police station in New York City.
The Safeguard Defenders report and subsequent FBI arrests have put U.S. officials on the lookout for additional Chinese surveillance bases. Rep. Mike Flood (R-Neb.) now warns that one such station is operating near his district.
To some, middle America might seem like an unlikely point of interest for Chinese surveillance operations, but Flood noted that the alleged Chinese service center is not far from Offutt Air Force Base, which serves as the headquarters of the U.S. Strategic Command—the command overseeing U.S. nuclear bombers and both land and sea-based nuclear missiles.
“We’re a strategic headquarters […] and to have one of these Chinese service centers in our backyard in Omaha, Nebraska, tells you how aggressive and omnipresent the Chinese want to be in every community in America,” Flood said. “And it’s startling. It concerns a lot of Nebraskans. It should concern everybody in America that they’re penetrating that far into the middle of our country.”