Foreign Travel and a Game of Pawns

If you or someone you know enjoys international travel, this may pique your interest. The FBI is promoting an awareness campaign to educate American travelers of the risks and potential warning signs of recruitment efforts by foreign nationals.

This may come as a shock to some, but the FBI reports that US students traveling and studying abroad are a high priority for recruitment by foreign intelligence services. According to the FBI’s Internet site, these opportunities and educational “experiences provide students with tremendous cultural opportunities and can equip them with specialized language, technical, and leadership skills that make them very marketable to U.S. private industry and government employers.”  But it also makes them vulnerable targets for recruitment by foreign governments.

One thing in common for those who fall prey is high student loan debt or the general limited financial resources that many college students face.  How many poor and broke college students do you know, or graduates with a mountain of student loan debt? Some of them feel so swamped they don’t do any alternative; so, they join forces with foreign governments, secretly betraying their US citizenship looking for a financial windfall and read about the online tools for business.

A recent case centers on Glenn Duffie Shriver.  Briefly, Shriver was a student from Virginia who attended college in Michigan. He spent time in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China (PRC) for a study abroad program during his junior year in college. He was the typical boy next door.  He participated in a scheme fas a minion of the PRC by securing a US government job that would grant him access to classified information, information he would subsequently share with the PRC in exchange for financial payouts.  He didn’t get far and his efforts were soon uncovered. Shriver is one of hundreds of students who end up in trouble for agreeing to betray the United States and work for a foreign government.

Shriver was sentenced to 4 years in prison, and he has essentially thrown away his career and future employment opportunities.  His career opportunities will be quite limited. Unfortunately, this happens more often than most people realize.  It’s an issue not just for the PRC but for any foreign nation. It can happen to anybody. Be aware!

See the short video for more details of this phenomenon.

Game of Pawns Video


I'm an avid traveler for both domestic and international venues. I've learned a lot of things, some of them the hard way, that taught me valuable lessons. So, I am passing that knowledge on to others to help make their trip more enjoyable and stress-free. I also will share what I think are great venues, stores, restaurants, or other things that I enjoyed that I think others would enjoy as well. Knowledge is power, transformational. Let us share with each other.