Another ‘spy balloon’ discovered off US – CNN — RT World News

The FBI reportedly believes the vehicle may have been involved in a surveillance operation by a foreign power

A group of fishermen has discovered a possible shipwreck “Spy Balloon” off the coast of Alaska and became the subject of an FBI investigation, CNN reported on Friday. The United States' downing of an alleged Chinese spy balloon last year led to a major diplomatic incident between Washington and Beijing.

The network reported, citing anonymous sources, that the fishermen brought the suspicious debris to their boat and will hand it over to FBI agents when they return to port this weekend. “Sources familiar with the matter.”

Based on the photos the crew shared with them, FBI agents determined that was the case “It is so similar in appearance to a surveillance balloon owned by a foreign government that it warrants further investigation.” CNN reported.

In a statement issued Friday evening, the FBI said it was “Aware of the wreckage found by a commercial fishing vessel off the coast of Alaska. We will work with our partners to assist with the logistics of recovering the wreckage.

Last February, a US fighter jet shot down what the White House described as a Chinese suspect “Spy Balloon” Off the coast of South Carolina. Before reaching its end over the Atlantic Ocean, the balloon traveled south from Alaska before swinging east to cross the contiguous United States.

While US officials initially claimed the balloon passed over military facilities and transmitted data to China, the Pentagon later said the device did not collect any intelligence. However, Washington still believes it was part of a fleet of similar aircraft deployed by Beijing to conduct high-altitude surveillance in recent years.

China described the balloon as a “civilian airship” Which entered US airspace due to force majeure circumstances, and condemned the decision to shoot it down.

US President Joe Biden was severely criticized by Republicans for allowing the balloon to cross the United States before dropping it over open waters. The incident also further strained relations between Washington and Beijing, which were already severely strained by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan last August.

The United States imposed sanctions on Chinese airlines following the incident. China responded in kind by passing a law allowing its own sanctions on US companies, with Beijing also stating that high-level military contacts between the two powers – which were suspended after Pelosi's trip to Taiwan – would not resume until the US unilaterally lifts its economic sanctions.

These military communication channels were eventually restored in November after Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks in California. However, sanctions remain in place, with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urge and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to remove them, during a meeting in Munich last month.

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