Another Spy Caught Trying to Sell to Israel
I am going to point you to a little story in Bloomberg:
A Maryland scientist, whose work
with U.S. defense, space and energy agencies had given him
access to classified information, is under arrest on charges of
attempting to spy for Israel.
A criminal complaint unsealed yesterday in Washington
accuses Stewart David Nozette, 52, of Chevy Chase, of attempted
espionage. Nozette allegedly attempted to deliver U.S. defense
secrets to an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli
intelligence officer in exchange for money, the Justice
Department said in a statement.
Nozette held security clearances as high as top secret and
had access to information related to national defense,
according to the Justice Department. He developed a radar
experiment that purportedly discovered water on the south pole
of the moon and designed “highly advanced” technology at the
Energy Department, according to the statement.
Exactly what kind of information might he be trading in? The Bloomberg article mentions some work for an unamed Israeli entity:
From November 1998 through January 2008, Nozette worked as
a technical consultant for an aerospace company that was owned
by the government of Israel. Once a month, he answered
questions posed by the company in return for payments totaling
about $225,000 over that period, according to a criminal
complaint. Dean Boyd, a Justice Department spokesman, declined
to name the company.
In January, Nozette traveled to an unnamed country
carrying two computer thumb drives that were found in his
baggage by an airport security inspector, according to the
criminal complaint. When he returned to the U.S., he was
searched by a customs officer who couldn’t locate the drives,
the complaint said.
What kind of information was he finally nailed for trying to sell?
Nozette allegedly provided answers to questions about U.S.
satellite information and received a $2,000 cash payment,
according to the statement.
Allegedly he gave up classified info in the sting and offered more classified info on nuclear weapons, military spacecraft and other weapons systems.
Now I want to get to a little info that the Justice Department did not give to Bloomberg for their story but is out there:
The complaint says Nozette was employed as a technical consultant
for Israel Aerospace Industries, the government owned aerospace
company, between 1998 and 2008.
"Approximately once a month, representatives of the aerospace
company proposed questions, or taskings, to Nozette," the complaint
says. "Nozette answered the aerospace company's questions and, in
return, Nozette received regular payments from the company, totaling
$225,000." It "does not allege that the Government of Israel or anyone
acting on its behalf committed any offense under the laws of the United
The complaint alleges that Nozette traveled to a country that is not
Israel -- "foreign country A" -- in January of this year carrying two
computer thumb drives and returned without them. Prior to that journey,
Nozette allegedly told a colleague that should he face criminal charges
on an unrelated matter, he could flee to Israel or to "foreign county
HMMM? Given that he was working for the Israeli government owned IAI for a decade selling them information on who knows what I think we need to read that complaint ourselves when we get a chance? It also leaves me wondering what country is "foreign country A", eh?
What does this Israeli company IAI work on? According to their WIKI there is this:
Got to take a look at the sattelite info for IAI given what we know he sold to the FBI, right? Nothing overly exciting until I get to this on the Ofeq series of sattelites:
While exact technical details and capabilities are classified, it is
assumed that the Ofeq satellites have ultraviolet and visible imaging
sensors, and an effective operational lifespan of 1-3 years. Some early
reports stated the reconnaissance capabilities as such that would allow
"reading license plates in Baghdad",
but that can be ruled out on grounds of physical optics. Other reports
more plausibly place the imaging resolution at 0.8 meters for Ofeq 5.
Most non-Israeli satellites are launched eastward to gain a boost
from the Earth's rotational speed. However, Ofeq satellites are
launched westward (retrograde orbit)
over the Mediterranean to avoid flying and dropping spent rocket stages
over populated areas in Israel and neighboring Arab countries. Other
Israeli satellites (such as the Amos series) are launched from locations in other countries.
Ofeq's east-to-west orbit at 36 degrees inclination is phased to
give optimal daylight coverage of the Middle East. Ofeq makes a
half-dozen or so daylight passes per day over Israel and the
surrounding countries, whereas U.S. and Russian
spysats only get one or two passes per day from their higher
inclination orbits. This optimal coverage degrades after several
months, nevertheless keeping a very good coverage of the Middle East.
Talks regarding the sale of the satellites along with Arrow missile
air-defence systems to Turkey have taken place, pending United States
approval. The systems would be a generational leap for the Turkish
military and intelligence capabilities.
Just a stab in the dark here... But I think I may have found a possible "Foreign country A" OR, at least, a reason why some miltary type sellers might not want his ties to IAI out there. Given what we know about typical military, Neoconservative and AIPAC type traffic... Anyone up for some digging?
[update] Via the National Post:
"In addition, Mr. Nozette allegedly offered to reveal additional
classified information that directly concerned nuclear weaponry,
military spacecraft or satellites, and other major weapons systems,"
FBI agents retrieved a manila envelope he left in
a designated location this month that "contained information classified
as both top secret and secret that concerned U.S. satellites, early
warning systems, means of defense or retaliation against large-scale
attack, communications intelligence information, and major elements of
This was not Mr. Nozelle's first attempt to sell out his country, Bloomberg News reported.
November 1998 through January 2008, he worked as a technical consultant
for an aerospace company that was owned by the government of Israel.
a month, representatives of the company proposed questions to the
scientist that he answered in return for payments totaling about
US$225,000, according to a criminal complaint.
The Arrow or Hetz (Hebrew: חץ, pronounced [xɛts]) is a family of anti-ballistic missiles designed to fulfill an Israeli requirement for a theater missile defense system that would be more effective against ballistic missiles than the MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile. Jointly funded and produced by Israel and the United States, development of the system began in 1986 and has continued since, drawing some contested criticism. Undertaken by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Boeing, it is overseen by the Israeli Ministry of Defence's "Homa" (Hebrew: חומה, pronounced [xoma], "rampart") administration and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.
Just to keep info handy.
Time Magazine on "The foreign company" no one is talking aobut - Israel Aerospace Industries:
"I thought I was working for you already. I mean, that's what I always thought. [The foreign company] was just a front."
Allegedly responding to an undercover FBI agent's request that he work
for Israeli intelligence by saying that he thought he already was (Conversation dated Sept. 3, 2009, according to the affidavit)
Golly? Who would've thought an Israeli government owned company was a front for the Israeli government?
And... Why does the Amnerican media try to hide the name of "Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd." from reports?
[end update deux]
Just for a lark I'll add this meaningless and unrelated info below:
attacks were no mystery. What puzzled Turkish police was the weapons'
origin. Glocks are high-quality sidearms, but by last year they had
practically become common street weapons in Turkey. More than 1,000 had
been taken from criminals, guerrillas, terrorists and assassins all
over the country, and authorities believed tens of thousands more had
found their way onto the black market
There are many more where
those came from. At least three U.S. government agencies are now
investigating the massive "disappearance" and diversion of weapons
Washington intended for Iraqi government forces that instead have
spread to militants and organized gangs across the region. The
potential size of the traffic is stunning. A report by the U.S.
Government Accountability Office last month showed that since 2004,
some 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols, bought with U.S. money
for Iraqi security forces, have gone missing.
U.S. arms transfers began when Gen. David Petraeus was commander of the
Multi-National Security Transition Command—Iraq (MNSTC-I), better known
as Minsticky. Its mission was to train, arm and organize Iraq's
military and police forces, but the Iraqis' weapons came via the State Department, and the supply line was actually run by private contractors.
According to the State Deparment's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs' 2006 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Turkey is a key player in this industry:
Turkey is a major transit route for Southwest Asian opiates to Europe,
and serves as a base and refining center for major narcotics
traffickers and brokers.... While most of the heroin trafficked via
Turkey is marketed in Western Europe, an increasing amount of heroin
and opium also is smuggled from Turkey to the U.S., but not in
quantities sufficient to have a significant impact on the U.S.
II. Status of Country
Turkey is a major transshipment point. Turkey is also a base of
operations for international narcotics traffickers and associates
trafficking in opium, morphine base, heroin, precursor chemicals and
other drugs. The majority of these opiates originate in Afghanistan,
and are ultimately trafficked to Western Europe. A smaller but still
not insignificant amount of heroin is trafficked to the U.S. via
Turkey... Turkish authorities continue to seize large amounts of heroin
and precursor chemicals, such as acetic anhydride. It is estimated that
multi-ton amounts of heroin are smuggled through Turkey each month.
Some heroin is still being refined in Turkey.
Flow/Transit. Turkey remains a major route, refining center and
storage, production and staging area, for the flow of heroin to Europe.
Turkish-based traffickers and brokers operate in conjunction with
narcotics smugglers, laboratory operators, and money launderers in and
outside Turkey. They finance and control the smuggling of opiates to
and from Turkey. Afghanistan is the source of most of the opiates
reaching Turkey. Morphine and heroin base are smuggled overland from
Afghanistan and Pakistan via Iran. Opiates and hashish also are
smuggled to Turkey overland from Afghanistan via Turkmenistan,
Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Traffickers in Turkey illegally acquire the
heroin precursor chemical, acetic anhydride, from sources in Western
Europe, the Balkans and Russia. For fiscal year 2004, 2,304 liters of
acetic anhydride were seized in, or destined for, Turkey. Some criminal
elements in Turkey reportedly have interests in heroin laboratories
operating near the Iranian-Turkish border in Iran. Turkish-based
traffickers control much of the heroin marketed to Western Europe.
quite straightforward - Turkey is a key player up and down the value
chain - yet the comprehensive 228 page report from Paul Wolfowitz'
World Bank essentially ignores Turkey's role using various mechanisms
of sophistry and mendacity - just as Sibel predicted.
At least three quarters of all heroin sold in Western Europe comes from
Turkey - 4 to 6 tons every month - yet the World Bank report mentions
Turkey exactly... once!
Here's the reference, in all it's glory:
large dealers in both Lashkar Gah city and Kandahar claimed that they
deal directly with buyers in Pakistan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and
the United States.
That single reference to Turkey is all that the report could muster.
And republican hacks behind the whole thing too, eh? Not like it hasn't happened before...
is starting to look like a conspiracy theorist's dream. Or just what
Sibel Edmonds was talking about all along. And the State Department
keeps popping up in these kindof stories.