A former U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II attack jet pilot who had been working in China has been arrested in Australia. Daniel Edmund Duggan, 54, now likely faces extradition to the United States. It is an interesting development to occur in an ongoing crackdown on ex-military pilots from Western nations working in China, or on behalf of Chinese clients elsewhere. Namely, last week’s revelations that “at least 30” British former military pilots have been hired by China to provide training and intelligence to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Duggan was arrested last Friday in Orange, New South Wales, by Australian Federal Police. He appeared in court there the same day, according to court records, two police sources, and his lawyer, Reuters reports. A request for bail was reportedly denied, leaving Duggan in jail in nearby Bathurst.
“An individual was arrested on 21 October 2022 pursuant to a request from the United States of America for their provisional arrest,” a spokesman for the federal Attorney-General’s Department told Reuters. “As the matter is before the courts, it would not be appropriate to comment further.”
According to one of the aforementioned police sources, the Australian Federal Police were acting on a U.S. request that will likely be followed by formal extradition proceedings. Ahead of any such move, Duggan is due to appear in court again in Sydney in November, where a further bail application will be considered.