CBS News: US intelligence watched spy balloon launch from China, tracking it more than a week before it entered US airspace

News & Politics

A CBS News report said that U.S. intelligence services were aware of the Chinese spy balloon for a week before it entered U.S. airspace.

The report will reignite criticism that President Joe Biden didn’t do enough to counteract the surveillance activities from a hostile foreign country.

Intelligence services reportedly tracked the spy balloon as it drifted towards Guam and Hawaii from southern China before it made a sharp turn toward Alaska.

The report also said that three other objects thought to be related to the Chinese spy balloon were most likely harmless research balloons that did not participate in the surveillance.

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The three other objects were shot down in northern Alaska, the Yukon territory, and over Lake Huron. CBS News said that Biden ordered that they be shot down because it could not be determined if they were surveillance craft.

The first object, confirmed to be a spy balloon, was shot down on Feb. 4

Officials won’t be able to confirm what the objects are until they find the debris left over, but Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Milley told reporters that the mission would be a difficult one given the rough terrain where they were shot down. He also said that the first attempt to shoot down the fourth spy balloon missed and fell into Lake Huron.

Republicans and other critics of the Biden administration have demanded more transparency about what the government knows about the objects.

“What are these things? Who sent them here? And what are they doing here?” asked Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to a bevy of reporters.

China has accused the U.S. of sending 10 spy balloons over its airspace in the last year, but U.S. officials denied the claim.

Here’s another recent report about the spy balloon:

U.S. releases new images of Chinese spy

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