NASA contractor arrested en route to China


A Chinese national and former NASA contractor was arrested on a plane at Washington's Dulles Airport on a one-way flight back to China.


Mark Wilson

A former NASA contractor was arrested last week on a airplane leaving for China at Washington's Dulles airport.

Bo Jiang, a Chinese national who worked as a contractor for the National Institute of Aerospace at NASA's Langley Research Center, was leaving on a one-way flight when he was stopped by police.

CNN reported that Jiang made his first appearance at a Virginia court on Monday.

News of the arrest was announced by Rep. Frank Wolf, R-VA, who is the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee subcommittee, which looks after NASA's budget, reported Fox News.

At a news conference Monday, Wolf said that Jiang had access to information that foreign spies would have desired.

More from GlobalPost: Taiwan spying case: Taipei arrests three ex military officials on suspicion of leaking information to China

He said that Jiang had taken large amounts of sensitive data back to China in 2012.

Jiang was arrested for having "lied to federal law enforcement authorities" about a laptop, hard drive and SIM card he was carrying with him after he was searched aboard the plane, reported the Washington Examiner.

NASA's inspector general said that Langley's Office of Security services was investigating claims of spying, said

The agency's counterintelligence, however, has said that they did not believe this was a case of spying.

CNN said that NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will testify in front of the Appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday.