U.S. officials say a U.S. Navy officer faces potential espionage charges over suspicions that he passed on sensitive intelligence to China and Taiwan, and possibly other nations.
U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity identified the sailor as Lieutenant Commander Edward Lin, who was born in Taiwan and later became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
A redacted navy charge sheet says the suspect communicated "secret information relating to the national defense to representatives of a foreign government."
The name of the suspect was blacked out in the charge sheet, though the document indicates the accusations are against an officer of Lin's rank.
U.S. officials said Lin had experience managing the collection of electronic signals from intelligence aircraft.
They said he was suspected of providing sensitive intelligence to Taiwan and possibly China, but that an ongoing investigation could reveal other countries as well.
Lin is also accused of engaging in adultery and prostitution.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest confirmed to reporters on April 11 that a navy officer was in custody on suspicion of espionage but declined to provide additional details.
Lin made an April 8 appearance before a military judge, and a decision about whether to formally charge him is expected by next week, The New York Times quoted unidentified officials as saying.