Australia’s Top Spy Says Former Politician ‘Sold Out’ His Country to a Foreign Intelligence Service

Mike Burgess.

The land down under has been rocked by a espionage scandal, after Australia’s top spy made serious accusations against an unnamed former politician.

Head of security for the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), Mike Burgess, said that the politician ‘sold out’ Australia to a foreign intelligence service that also remains unnamed for now.

Burgess added that the Australian agency confronted the ‘spy ring’ to let them know their cover had been blown.

ASIO chief said in his annual speech that he had declassified details of the operation, ‘which used professional networking platforms, email and social media to target Australians’.

Reuters reported:

“He did not name the country involved, but said it had also targeted Australia’s defense industry, offering money for reports on the AUKUS partnership with the U.S. and Britain to build nuclear submarines.

He said the foreign agency had ‘successfully cultivated and recruited a former Australian politician’ several years ago. He did not identify the politician, and said the person had not been charged because they were no longer active.

‘This politician sold out their country, party and former colleagues to advance the interests of the foreign regime. At one point, the former politician even proposed bringing a prime minister’s family member into the spies’ orbit’, he said.”

In his speech, Burgess called the foreign spies the “A Team”. They attracted Australians that had national security information ‘by offering them consulting roles’.

Academics and political figures attending an overseas conference were met by ‘spies in disguise’, he said.

“‘ASIO disrupted this scheme and confronted the Australians involved. While some were unwitting, others knew they were working for a foreign intelligence service’, he said.”

The links between the Australians and the foreign spies were severed, and individuals ‘should be grateful the espionage and foreign interference laws are not retrospective’.

“‘We have seen it try to recruit students, academics, politicians, business people, researchers, law enforcement officials and public servants at all levels of government’, he said.”

Australia’s ‘foreign interference taskforce’ has conducted 120 operations since it was formed in 2020, he said in the speech.

“‘We assess this government is not actively planning sabotage, but is trying to gain persistent undetected access that could allow it to conduct sabotage in the future’, he said, without identifying the country.”

Now, Burgess is under heavy pressure to name the politician and the country – which many in the media speculate would be China.

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