US Scientist Arrested on Attempted Espionage Charge

October 19, 2009

(ChattahBox) — A Maryland scientist who worked for the Pentagon and NASA was arrested Monday on charges that he tried to sell national defense secrets to an undercover FBI agent he believed was an Israeli intelligence officer.  In a press release today, the Department of Justice alleges that Stewart David Nozette, 52, of Chevy Chase, Md., who at times holding security clearances as high as top secret, offered defense secrets to an undercover FBI agent that he believed was an Israeli spy, in exchange for cash. Nozette was arrested today and charged with “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,” and will appear in U.S. District Court tomorrow.  If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

According to the affidavit, which added that there was no wrongdoing by Israel, Nozette allegedly left information about U.S. satellites and “major elements of defense strategy” for the undercover agent in a Post Office box, in exchange for $11,000. The sting occurred in September and early October. Bloomberg reports that From November 1998 through January 2008, Nozette worked as a technical consultant for an aerospace company that was owned by the government of Israel. Nozette has developed an experiment that fueled the discovery of water on the south pole of the moon for NASA, and previously held special security clearance at the Department of Energy on atomic materials, where he spent years as a top scientist specializeing in satellite technology.


Comments

One Response to “US Scientist Arrested on Attempted Espionage Charge”

  1. Jon L on October 19th, 2009 10:16 pm

    While it seems that in this case Israel was not involved in any wrongdoing – there have been numerous times when they have conspired to get classified info. If such turns out to be the case again it is time for the US to get serious with these “allies” – I think rescinding Israel’s annual $2 billion + subsidy for a year or two should get their attention. Clearly, individuals such as Dr. Nozette think that Israel is willing to pay for the info – it’s not difficult to figure out where he would get that impression!

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