“This politician sold out his country”: Intelligence chief reveals foreign spy ring in Australia | the world

The head of Australia's main intelligence service revealed on Wednesday that a foreign spy network has been operating in Australia for years.

“This politician has sold out his country, his party and his former colleagues to the interests of a foreign regime,” Australian Security and Intelligence Organization (ASIO) director-general Mike Burgess said in a speech in Canberra on Wednesday.

Mr. Burgess did not reveal the identity of this elected official or the name of the country on whose behalf the spies were acting.

The politician was hired “years ago” and proposed integrating a member of the Prime Minister's family into the “orbit of the spies”, which was unsuccessful. Not successful.

Strong reactions

These extremely rare public revelations based on counter-espionage measures immediately provoked strong reactions, with calls for the politician's identity to be revealed.

The group of spies worked for Team Australia, a unit nicknamed the A-Team, ASIO's director-general said.

He explained that he made the revelations to disrupt his operations, to let his managers know his cover had been blown and to warn Australians against this “aggressive and experienced team”.

It targets Australians with access to “insider information” on social media, uses English-speaking “fakes” and promises cash rewards.

Australia is a member of Group 5 – the “Five Eyes” – an intelligence alliance that includes the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, making it an attractive target for agents from countries such as China and Russia.

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