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BANGKOK 26 May 2019 02:26
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U.S. arrests former Marine connected to North Korea embassy raid in Spain

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U.S. arrests former Marine connected to North Korea embassy raid in Spain

By Mark Hosenball

 

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FILE PHOTO: A Spanish National Police car is seen outside the North Korea's embassy in Madrid, Spain February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. authorities have arrested a former U.S. Marine who is a member of a group that allegedly raided the North Korean embassy in Madrid in February and stole electronics, two sources familiar with the arrest said on Friday.

 

Christopher Ahn was arrested on Thursday and appeared on Friday in federal court in Los Angeles, according to a law enforcement official and a source close to the group.

 

In a related development, armed U.S. federal agents on Thursday raided the apartment of Adrian Hong, leader of Cheolima Civil Defense, a group seeking the overthrow of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that is blamed for the Feb.

22 embassy raid, a person close to the group said without providing more details. Hong was not present at his residence when the raid occurred, the source said.

 

The U.S. Justice Department declined to comment.

 

A group of at least 10 people stormed into the embassy, restrained and physically beat some personnel and held them hostage for hours before fleeing, according to a Spanish court.

 

Spanish investigators have said the intruders removed computers and hard drives from the embassy before fleeing to the United States, where they handed over the material to the FBI.

 

A Spanish judicial source said this week the material had been returned by Spanish authorities to Pyongyang's mission after being returned two weeks previously by the FBI to the Spanish court investigating the raid.

 

The anti-Kim group, which also calls itself Free Joseon, said the raid was not an attack and that it had been invited into the embassy.

 

The incident came at a sensitive time, just days ahead of a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un at which the U.S. leader failed to make progress in efforts to persuade North Korea to give up a nuclear weapons programme.

 

North Korea's foreign ministry denounced the incident a "grave terrorist attack" and cited rumours that the FBI was partially behind the raid. The U.S. State Department has said Washington had nothing to do with it.

 

Three of the intruders took an embassy official into the basement during the raid and tried to encourage him to defect from North Korea, according to a detailed document made public on March 26 by the Spanish court.

 

While the document said several members of the group, including Hong - a Mexican passport holder with U.S. residency - fled to the United States, their whereabouts are unclear.

 

The Spanish court is seeking their extradition.

 

A U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment on the case.

 

However, she noted that extradition treaties "generally provide that an individual who has been extradited to another country to face criminal charges cannot thereafter be extradited to a third country without the consent of the original country.”

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-04-20

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6 hours ago, rooster59 said:

the material had been returned by Spanish authorities to Pyongyang's mission after being returned two weeks previously by the FBI to the Spanish court investigating the raid.

It would be fair play to have operating systems loaded with North Korean Ransomware.

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One phone call, and some oversized boys with no necks, black suits and ties bearing ear pieces will storm into the precinct where he is detained, flash their National Security ID-Badge and it will be the "Get out of Jail Free" pass for the renegade.

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4 hours ago, DoctorG said:

Bet the FBI copied everything before returning them. 😉

Very hard to prove they did not, suppose one has to take an educated guess as to whether they did or not.

 

Also whether the US intelligence services were party to the raid or not, the North Koreans will have already made up their minds...

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Something tells me, what we're reading here in this news report is something less than a full explanation of just what happened, who carried it out, who was behind it, and why....  Though I'm sure the true story would be very interesting and entertaining to hear...

 

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8 hours ago, DoctorG said:

Bet the FBI copied everything before returning them. 😉

I'd hope they did but wouldn't bet money on it. FBI ain't the same as before.

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What has happened to Reuters as a news service?  Wouldn't it be nice to know the charges against Christopher Ahn?  One might assume it has to do with extradition but no where in the story are the charges mentioned.  Also where is the back story?  Certainly there has to be more information out there that what is in this crappy piece of reporting.  What's the background of the Cheolima Civil Defense? What has happened to journalism?

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16 hours ago, Kiwiken said:

If the North Koreans did the same thing to an American Embassy what would your thoughts be then?

I would be extremely disappointed im my US Marine security detachment. 

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12 hours ago, Trouble said:

What has happened to Reuters as a news service?  Wouldn't it be nice to know the charges against Christopher Ahn?  One might assume it has to do with extradition but no where in the story are the charges mentioned.  Also where is the back story?  Certainly there has to be more information out there that what is in this crappy piece of reporting.  What's the background of the Cheolima Civil Defense? What has happened to journalism?

What has happened to your curiosity?

 

Try doing a Google search. I did and decided that I didn't really need or want to know. 

 

About 90,700 results (0.52 seconds

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