Intelligence Agency: Chinese Spies Target Dutch Industries to Strengthen Military

Visitors pass through at the Nanluoguxiang, the capital city's popular tourist spot in Beijing, China, Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)
Visitors pass through at the Nanluoguxiang, the capital city's popular tourist spot in Beijing, China, Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)
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Intelligence Agency: Chinese Spies Target Dutch Industries to Strengthen Military

Visitors pass through at the Nanluoguxiang, the capital city's popular tourist spot in Beijing, China, Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)
Visitors pass through at the Nanluoguxiang, the capital city's popular tourist spot in Beijing, China, Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

Chinese spies have targeted the Dutch semiconductor, aerospace and maritime industries to try to strengthen China's armed forces, the Dutch military intelligence agency MIVD said in its annual report published on Thursday.
As part of an ongoing trend of Chinese political espionage against the Netherlands and its allies, China is investing heavily in the collection of western knowledge and technical capabilities, the agency said.
"China wants to be independent from western knowledge and technology (and) wants to build a military that can match any other," Reuters quoted the MIVD as saying.
"To do so, it needs advanced technology it doesn't yet fully possess. It tries to get this abroad, using legal means such as research and investments, but also through its intelligence agencies."
Dutch intelligence agencies first publicly attributed cyber espionage to China in February, when they said state-backed cyber spies had gained access to a Dutch military network last year.
Last year, the Netherlands joined a US effort to keep certain chipmaking technology from China for national security reasons, restricting the export by leading chipmaking equipment maker ASML of certain deep ultraviolet (DUV) equipment for Chinese customers.
Earlier this month, the US government also pressed the Netherlands to stop ASML from servicing some tools in China, according to people familiar with the matter.
In its annual report, the MIVD said China continued to target western armed forces for their knowledge on modern weapon systems and operational expertise, while also seeking out other advanced industries.
"China tries to get hold of technology in the Netherlands in various ways, using a combination of (cyber) espionage, company insiders, acquisitions, circumvention of export restrictions and reverse engineering of technology for which no licenses are required," the agency said.
The agency said Chinese intelligence agencies had broadened the scope, intensity and technical level of its cyber campaigns over the last year.
Chinese universities also play an important role in gathering intelligence, it said, as scientists who work with western companies often also work for China's security services and state companies.



Stockholm Accuses Iran of Using Criminals in Sweden to Target Israel

A police vehicle on patrol in Sweden. Reuters file photo
A police vehicle on patrol in Sweden. Reuters file photo
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Stockholm Accuses Iran of Using Criminals in Sweden to Target Israel

A police vehicle on patrol in Sweden. Reuters file photo
A police vehicle on patrol in Sweden. Reuters file photo

Sweden's domestic security agency on Thursday accused Iran of using established criminal networks in Sweden as a proxy to target Israeli or Jewish interests in the Scandinavian country.
The accusations were raised at a news conference by Daniel Stenling, the head of the SAPO agency's counterespionage unit, following a series of events earlier this year.
In late January, the Israeli Embassy in Stockholm was sealed off after what was then described as “a dangerous object” was found on the grounds of the diplomatic mission in an eastern Stockholm neighborhood. Swedish media said the object was a hand grenade.
The embassy was not evacuated and the object was eventually destroyed. No arrests were made and authorities did not say what was found. On May 17, gunshots were heard near the Israeli Embassy in Stockholm and the area was cordoned off. No one was arrested.
According to The Associated Press, Stenling said, without offering specifics or evidence to back up his assertion, that the agency "can establish that criminal networks in Sweden are used as a proxy by Iran.”
“It is very much about planning and attempts to carry out attacks against Israeli and Jewish interests, goals and activities in Sweden," he said and added that the agency sees "connections between criminal individuals in the criminal networks and individuals who are connected to the Iranian security services.”
Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer and Hampus Nygårds, deputy head of the Swedish police's National Operations Department, were also at the online news conference with Stenling.
“We see this connection between the Iranian intelligence services, the security services and precisely criminals in the criminal networks in Sweden," Stenling said. “We see that connection and it also means that we need to work much more internationally to get to the crimes and be able to prevent them.”
Stenling and the others made no mention of the recent incidents connected to the Israel Embassy and stopped short of naming any criminal groups or suspects.
Sweden has grappled with gang violence for years and criminal gangs often recruit teenagers in socially disadvantaged immigrant neighborhoods to carry out hits.
By May 15, police have recorded 85 shootings so far this year, including 12 fatal shootings. Last year, 53 people were killed and 109 were wounded in a total of 363 shootings.