USA Today reports that suspected Chinese spies were caught attempting to gain access to the U.S. military bases located in Alaska.
The outlet obtained this information from U.S. officials. But, it also spoke with soldiers for its report.
According to these sources, there have been multiple incidents, and these incidents have taken place in "recent years."
The spies are said to have been Chinese citizens who disguised themselves as tourists.
USA Today reports that there have been some encounters between Chinese citizens and the U.S. military in Alaska in which the Chinese citizens were in fact tourists looking to view such attractions as the northern lights but who accidentally stumbled upon a U.S. military base.
But, the outlet, citing sources, says that there have also been encounters in which the Chinese citizens appeared to be tourists but were actually Chinese spies looking to obtain information about the military capabilities of the United States.
As would be expected, the details about the incidents are classified. But, USA Today was able to include one example in its report that the outlet says that it received from "several soldiers."
Per the outlet:
In one incident, a vehicle with Chinese citizens blew past a security checkpoint at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, several soldiers told USA TODAY. The vehicle was eventually stopped, and a search found a drone inside the vehicle. The occupants claimed they were tourists who had gotten lost.
Apparently, the vehicle's occupants were actually Chinese spies.
Alaska is home to three U.S. military bases: Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Fort Wainwright, and Eielson Air Force Base. In addition to this, Alaska is also home to several smaller U.S. military installations.
Significantly, the location of these bases is the closest point of contact between America and its top enemies, including China, North Korea, and Russia. So, the military bases in Alaska are a key defensive point.
In addition to this, the U.S. Pentagon has been sending more and more military resources to Alaska as tensions between America and its adversaries have grown. And, military exercises have also frequently been conducted in the state.
Accordingly, there may be no better place than Alaska for America's enemies to do some spying on the opponent's military capabilities.
The U.S. military is said to be well aware of this, and it is said that the Pentagon has responded by increasing security in the region.