Congressman Richard Hudson, R, NC-09, along with fellow Republican congressmen Pat Fallon, TX, and Jimmy Panetta, CA, are seeking answers from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin about what the Department of Defense is doing about the recent rise in incidents of foreign nationals attempting to infiltrate US military installations or spy on military personnel across the country.

The trio recently sent a letter to Austin that pointed out that several of the country’s installations are strategic power projection platforms or places where important or sensitive activity occurs.

“These locations are, therefore, surveillance targets for foreign nationals who want to collect data on installation operations and uniformed and non-uniformed personnel,” the letter reads. “This places our servicemembers, their families, and Department of Defense personnel at risk of exploitation and harm.”

This letter comes after a study released by Duke University in December revealed that the personal information of US military members, including addresses and health status, is available for purchase, raising significant national security issues surrounding Fort Liberty.

Since then, Hudson has probed the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on this and cosponsored H.R. 6573 — a bill to protect service-members’ information.

Most recently, two Chechen nationals were involved in potentially suspicious surveillance activity of an Army Special Forces soldier’s property near Fort Liberty, formerly Fort Bragg.

A shooting in Carthage occurred on May 3 following a phone call about a suspected trespasser near a Special Forces soldier’s property.

Two Chechen men who spoke broken English were found near the soldier’s home. One was allegedly taking photos of the soldier’s children. After a confrontation, the soldier shot and killed one of the men. Both men supposedly worked for a utility company based out of New Jersey. The case is still under investigation.

In December 2022, vandals fired guns at two electric grid substations in Moore County, causing power outages that left up to 40,000 customers without power for two weeks.

In their letter, the congressmen said they fear the US is ill-prepared to respond to foreign adversaries’ increased intelligence-gathering and surveillance activity.

They asked, “We request a briefing from your team on the Department of Defense’s assessments of recent trends and efforts to address infiltration and information-gathering attempts on the following questions.”

  1. What is the DOD’s assessment on trends of foreign national intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance on United States military personnel and domestic bases?
  2. Which bases, assets, or groups are targeted the most by foreign nationals?
  3. How many situations are misunderstandings handled by DOD and the FBI versus real counterintelligence operations?
  4. How is DOD working with other departments and agencies to include FBI and DHS in fighting these counterintelligence threats?
  5. How are we training our military members to detect, identify, and respond to attempts by foreign personnel to infiltrate bases or collect sensitive information?
  6. What resources or additional authorities does the Department need to combat these threats?

On Tuesday, US Sen.Ted Budd, R-NC, and US Sen. Thom Tillis were among a group of 21 senators that sent a letter on Tuesday to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding answers after eight suspected terrorists from Tajikistan with ties to ISIS were arrested last week in a sting operation in Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia.