DOJ charges retired US Army engineer in Israel spy conspiracy

DOJ charges retired US Army engineer in Israel spy conspiracy

[JURIST] Federal authorities have arrested and charged [DOJ press release] 84-year-old American citizen Ben-Ami Kadish on four counts of conspiracy to disclose US defense and nuclear weaponry documents to Israel and to act as an Israeli agent, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced Tuesday. The complaint filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] alleges that from 1979-1985, the former US Army engineer took classified documents from a library at the Army’s New Jersey Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center [official website] to his private home to be photographed by an unnamed Israeli co-conspirator. He has acknowledged his participation in the scheme to FBI officials, stating that he believed to be acting in the interest of Israel. Kadish was also charged with conspiring to hinder a communication to a law enforcement officer and to make a materially false statement to a law enforcement officer, stemming from a March 2008 interview with the FBI in which he denied having a telephone conversation with his unnamed Israeli liaison.

The case's unnamed co-conspirator is reportedly linked to convicted spy Jonathan Pollard [advocacy website], another American charged with spying for Israel. Pollard was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for selling classified documents to Israel while working as a civilian intelligence analyst for the US Navy; in 2005, a federal court rejected his appeal [JURIST report] to reduce his sentence. That case has been a source of friction in US-Israeli relations as Israel has repeatedly urged Pollard's release. Reuters has more.