Unlocking the Secrets of MOMINT

MIN READApr 6, 2017 | 08:00 GMT

The Federal Bureau of Investigation crest inside the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building in Washington, DC. It pays to know who your mother is receiving gifts from.

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The old cliche goes that there's no substitute for a mother's love. But for Chinese intelligence officers, her access to classified information comes close. On March 29, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the arrest of Candace Claiborne, an office management specialist (or administrative assistant) with the State Department, for failing to disclose thousands of dollars in gifts and payments from Chinese officials.Some of the gifts that Claiborne accepted, which included thousands of dollars in cash and items such as an iPhone and MacBook computer, were for her personal use. Many of them, however, went to a person identified in the complaint against her as "Co-conspirator A." The media initially ran with stories that the figure was a man deployed by Chinese intelligence to steal Claiborne's heart -- and any privileged information she had access to -- in a so-called "honey-trap" operation. After all, female administrators are frequent targets of...

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