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Maryland man pleads guilty to spying for Saddam-era Iraq

[JURIST] An Iraqi national living in Maryland on Sunday pleaded guilty to charges of spying for the Iraqi government [DOJ press release] under Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive]. Saubhe Jassim Al-Dellemy, a former Baath party [JURIST news archive] member, pleaded guilty to "conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government," and faces up to five years in prison. Al-Dellemy allegedly assisted in the shredding of documents that could have compromised the Hussein regime and made his restaurant available as a meeting place for Iraqi intelligence agents. Sentencing is scheduled for March 5.

To date, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] has charged at least a dozen people with spying for the Iraqi government in the US. In July 2007, an Iraqi-born naturalized US citizen living in Michigan, pleaded guilty to spying for the Iraqi government [JURIST report], admitting in Detroit federal court that he provided the Iraqi intelligence agents with information about anti-Hussein organizations and individuals. Under the plea agreement, Al-Awadi, who was 78 years old and in poor health, received a prison sentence of no more than 51 months. Al-Awadi and fellow Iraqi spy Najib Shemani, were exposed following the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, which allowed US authorities access to Iraqi intelligence documents. In 2005, a federal grand jury in Indianapolis indicted a naturalized US citizen [JURIST report] on charges of trying to sell the names of US intelligence operatives in Iraq to Hussein's government.

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