American 'gave nuclear secrets to Israel'

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    US authorities have arrested an American engineer suspected of giving secrets on nuclear weapons, fighter jets and air defence missiles to Israel during the 1980s, the Justice Department says.

    Ben-Ami Kadish acknowledged his spying in FBI interviews and said he acted out of a belief that he was helping Israel, court papers said today.

    He was accused of reporting to the same Israeli government handler as Jonathan Jay Pollard, who is serving a life term on a 1985 charge of spying for Israel.

    Kadish's arrest is a sign the Pollard scandal may have spread wider than was previously acknowledged. Kadish was arrested in New Jersey and was scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon at US District Court in Manhattan, authorities said.

    Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Arye Mekel, asked about the arrest, said: "We know nothing about it. We heard it from the media."

    Pollard pleaded guilty in 1986, and Israel acknowledged in 1998 that the former US Navy intelligence analyst was one of its spies. Pollard has been granted Israeli citizenship.

    Kadish is a Connecticut-born US citizen who worked as a mechanical engineer at the US Army's Armament Research, Development and Engineering Centre at the Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, New Jersey.

    His spying for Israel lasted roughly from 1979 to 1985, and his contact with the unidentified Israeli handler continued until March of this year, the federal complaint against him said.

    The complaint said Kadish did not appear to receive any money in exchange for his suspected spying, just small gifts and restaurant meals.

    Kadish, who had a security clearance, took 50-100 classified documents from the arsenal's library, working from a list provided by the handler identified in a federal complaint as "CC-1."

    The handler would then photograph the documents and Kadish returned them to the library, the complaint said.

    It said one of the classified documents passed on by Kadish "contained information concerning nuclear weaponry."

    Another related to "a major weapons system ... a modified version of an F-15 fighter jet that the United States had sold to another foreign country." It did not identify the country.

    A third document contained information regarding the US Patriot missile air defence system.

    The complaint said Kadish maintained contact with CC-1, met him in Israel in 2004, and telephoned him on March 20 of this year, after his first FBI interview.

    It said the handler told him to lie to US authorities: "Don't say anything ... What happened 25 years ago? You don't remember anything," the handler was quoted as saying.

    The complaint said the handler worked for the Israeli government as consul for science affairs at the Israeli Consulate General in New York, from 1980 to November 1985.

    During the late 1970s the handler worked for what was known at the time as Israeli Aircraft Industries, an Israeli government contractor, the complaint said. It said the handler left the United States when Pollard was arrested and has not returned.

    REUTERS

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/world...crets-to-israel/2008/04/23/1208742973983.html
     

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