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Father of Olympian Alysa Liu says they were targeted in China spy operation

In 1989, the father of Team USA Olympic ice skater Alysa Liu participated in the pro-Democracy protests at Tiananmen Square and eventually escaped China as a political refugee.

Today he says the FBI notified him in October that he and his daughters were targets of an espionage operation ordered by the Chinese government, CBS News reported.

The Justice Department Wednesday named five men accused in a scheme aimed at Chinese dissidents living in the United States.

Arthur Liu says he and his daughter were identified in the complaint only as “Dissident 3.”

“We believed Alysa had a very good chance of making the Olympic Team and truly were very scared,” the father said.

According to NBC News, a businessman out of Long Island hired former Florida corrections officer, Matthew Ziburis, to spy on the dad and get his passport and social security number.

There was talk about bribing an IRS agent to get the information, but prosecutors said in court documents that Ziburis discouraged it.

The Olympian’s father said China last tried to spy on him in the 1990s.

“They are still paying attention to me after 30-some years since I organized protests and hunger strikes for democracy in China,” he said to NBC.

The complaint alleges that the defendants stalked, harassed, and spied on Chinese nationals living throughout the United States, including New York. The Lius are in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“The complaints unsealed today reveal the outrageous and dangerous lengths to which the PRC government’s secret police and these defendants have gone to attack the rule of law,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace.

China denies the allegations and says it instructs its employees to follow the laws of the host country.

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