Last month, former US Army Special Forces officer, Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins, was arrested for allegedly handing national defence information to Russian intelligence operatives. He was later charged with conspiring to provide US national defence information to agents of a foreign government.
A week prior to the Debbins arrest, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer and Hawaii resident, Alexander Yuk Ching Ma was charged with selling secrets to the People’s republic of China over the course of 10 years.
It’s been reported that court documents alleged that Debbins conspired with Russian spies for a much longer period, spanning from December 1996 to January 2011. The documents claim that after signing a statement stating that he wanted to serve Russia, a code name was assigned to Debbins by Russian Intelligence officials in 1997.
It’s alleged that the Russian intelligence service, GRU, was supplied with information by Debbins about the chemical and special forces units that he was apart of. The allegations go on to say that classified information regarding his previous deployments was also given to the Russians after he left active duty in 2008.
However, it doesn’t stop there. Debbins is also alleged to have handed over the names and information of the other members of his former Special Forces unit, as well as aiding Russian intelligence agents in the recruitment of additional spies within the US army.
The US assistant attorney general for national security, John C. Demers said in a statement “Two espionage arrests in the past week — Ma in Hawaii and now Debbins in Virginia — demonstrate that we must remain vigilant against espionage from our two most malicious adversaries — Russia and China,”.
Demers continued to say “Debbins violated his oath as a US Army officer, betrayed the Special Forces and endangered our country’s national security by revealing classified information to Russian intelligence officers, providing details of his unit, and identifying Special Forces team members for Russian intelligence to try to recruit as a spy. Our country put its highest trust in this defendant, and he took that trust and weaponized it against the United States.”