US scientist nabbed over attempted ‘spying’ for Israel
Mon, 19 Oct 2009 22:58:38 GMT
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An American scientist with military and aerospace industry know-how has been arrested over charges of ‘espionage’ for Israel.
The US Department of Justice announced the arrest of former National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Department of Defense scientist, Stewart David Nozette, for his “attempts” to hand over Pentagon papers to an unnamed Israeli secret service agent.
In a Monday statement, the Justice Department confirmed the 52-year-old scientist’s detention for “attempted espionage for knowingly and willfully attempting to communicate, deliver, and transmit classified information relating to the national defense of the United States to an individual that Nozette believed to be an Israeli intelligence officer,” AFP reported.
“From 1989 through 2006, Nozette held security clearances as high as top secret and had regular, frequent access to classified information and documents related to the US national defense,” the statement read.
Nozette offered to “answer questions about this information in exchange for money,” the report adds.
“In addition, Nozette allegedly offered to reveal additional classified information that directly concerned nuclear weaponry, military spacecraft or satellites, and other major weapons systems,” the US legal body noted in the statement.
Meanwhile, David Kris, a legal official for US national security deemed the behavior as a serious offense and said, “The conduct alleged in this complaint is serious and should serve as a warning to anyone who would consider compromising our nation’s secrets for profit,” AFP quoted him as saying.
Nozette was detained in Washington on Monday and is due to stand trial on Tuesday.
The accused scientist, who also worked on a NASA moon project and accessed the Department of Energy’s documents on atomic materials, might get a life sentence if convicted.