23 April 2008
American Jewish man arrested this week for spying for Israel
JTA - MOBILE
Last updated 04/22/2008 @ 03:26PM ET
American arrested for spying for Israel
The American Jewish man arrested this week for spying for Israel was released on $300,000 bond.
The Justice Department disclosed Tuesday that Ben-Ami Kadish, a mechanical engineer at a U.S. Army facility in Dover, N.J., was arrested on charges of relaying secrets to Israel from 1979 to 1985, including nuclear secrets. Kadish speaks Hebrew and has an Israeli brother, according to the Justice Department.
Kadish allegedly "borrowed" classified documents from the facility's library and took them home to be copied by an Israeli diplomat employed at Israel’s consulate in New York, according to a sealed complaint filed Monday in a federal district court in New York.
One of the documents "contained information concerning nuclear weaponry and was classified as 'Restricted Data,' a specific designation by the U.S. Department of Energy, because the document contained atomic-related information," said a statement Tuesday from the Justice Department.
Another classified document "contained information concerning a major weapons system -- a modified version of an F-15 fighter jet that the United States had sold to another country. This document was classified by the Department of Defense as 'Secret' and was further restricted as 'Noforn,' or 'Not Releasable to Foreign Nationals.'"
Kadish, who allegedly was not paid for relaying the documents, appeared in court Tuesday and was released after posting $300,000 bond, putting his New Jersey home up as collateral.
He allegedly spoke with his Israeli co-conspirator by phone on March 20, before he was due to meet with U.S. officials. According to the Justice Department, the Israeli instructed Kadish to lie to law enforcement officials. The following day, March 21, Kadish denied having had the phone call.
The alleged spying took place before U.S. Navy analyst Jonathan Pollard was sentenced to life for spying for Israel. Israeli diplomats have said that Pollard's case led the United States to increase its information sharing with Israel and at the same time led Israel to clamp down on any Israeli espionage in the United States.
Ben-Ami, who lives in New Jersey, grew up in pre-state Palestine and fought with the Haganah, the Jewish military organization that was the precursor to the Israel Defense Forces, according to a 2006 story on Kadish and his wife, Doris, published in the New Jersey Jewish News. Ben-Ami served in both the British and U.S. militaries during World War II and is an ex-commander of the Jewish War Veterans Post 609 in Monroe, N.J., the story said. The newspaper also said Kadish was active in the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County. « Return to JTA Breaking News
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASETUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2008WWW.USDOJ.GOV
NSD(202) 514-2007TDD (202) 514-1888
Man Arrested for Disclosing National Defense Information to Israel
MANHATTAN — Michael J. Garcia, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Mark J. Mershon, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Weysan Dun, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Newark Office of the FBI, in conjunction with the U.S. Army, announced today the arrest of Ben-Ami Kadish on charges that he participated in a conspiracy to disclose to the Government of Israel documents related to the national defense of the United States and, in connection with that unauthorized disclosure, that he participated in a conspiracy to act as an agent of the Government of Israel. According to the Complaint filed in Manhattan federal court:
From about 1979 through 1985, Kadish, a citizen of the United States, was a mechanical engineer, employed at the U.S. Army’s Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center at the Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, New Jersey (the “Arsenal”). The Arsenal kept a library of documents with classified information related to the national defense of the United States (the “Library”).
On numerous occasions during this time period, Kadish borrowed classified documents (the “Classified Documents”) from the Library and took the Classified Documents to his residence in New Jersey (the “Residence”). At the Residence, Kadish would then provide the Classified Documents to a co-conspirator not named herein as a defendant (“CC-1”), who would photograph the Classified Documents in the basement of the Residence.
From at least 1980 through 1985, CC-1, a citizen of Israel, was employed by the Government of Israel as the Consul for Science Affairs at the Israeli Consulate General in Manhattan and directed Kadish to provide the Classified Documents to him (CC-1).
One of the Classified Documents that Kadish provided to CC-1 contained information concerning nuclear weaponry and was classified as “Restricted Data,” a specific designation by the U.S. Department of Energy, because the document contained atomic-related information.
Another one of the Classified Documents that Kadish provided CC-1 contained information concerning a major weapons system -- a modified version of an F-15 fighter jet that the United States had sold to another country. This document was classified by the Department of Defense as “Secret” and was further restricted as “Noforn,” or “Not Releasable to Foreign Nationals.”
Another one of the Classified Documents borrowed by Kadish from the Arsenal Library contained information concerning a major weapons system and major element of defense strategy -- the U.S. Patriot missile air defense system. This document was classified by the Department of Defense as “Secret.”
On March 20, 2008, Kadish and CC-1 had a telephone conversation, during which CC-1 instructed Kadish to lie to federal law enforcement officials. The following day, during an interview with the FBI, Kadish denied having had the telephone conversation with CC-1.
Kadish is charged with four counts: one count of conspiring to disclose documents related to the national defense of the United States to the Government of Israel; one count of conspiring to act as an agent of the Government of Israel; one count of conspiring to hinder a communication to a law enforcement officer; and one count of conspiring to make a materially false statement to a law enforcement officer.
Kadish is scheduled to appear this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Douglas F. Eaton in Manhattan federal court.
Mr. Garcia praised the FBI and the U.S. Army for their efforts in this continuing investigation.
This prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Iris Lan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and Trial Attorney Kathleen Kedian of the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
US Army engineer arrested on suspicion of spying for Israel
GIL HOFFMAN, HERB KEINON and AP , THE JERUSALEM POST
Apr. 22, 2008
An 85-year-old former US Army mechanical engineer was arrested Tuesday on charges he slipped classified documents about nuclear weapons to an employee of the Israeli Consulate who also received information from convicted Pentagon spy Jonathan Pollard, US authorities announced.
Ben-Ami Kadish was charged in US District Court in Manhattan with four counts of conspiracy, including allegations that he disclosed US national defense documents to Israel and acted as an agent of the Israeli government.
At a court hearing Tuesday afternoon, Kadish, who was wearing black sweatpants, was released on a $300,000 property bond. He was required tosurrender his passport and can travel only in New Jersey and southern Manhattan. A potential preliminary hearing is set for May 22.
Prosecutors say Kadish, a US citizen who worked at an Army base in New Jersey, took home classified documents for six years and let the Israeli photograph them in his basement. Those documents included information about nuclear weapons, a modified version of an F-15 fighter jet, and the US Patriot missile air defense system.
A criminal complaint said Kadish confessed to FBI agents on Sunday that he had given the Israeli between 50 and 100 classified documents and accepted no cash in return, only small gifts and occasional dinners for him and his family.
Kadish admitted to the charges in court, saying that he wanted to help Israel.
Calls requesting comment from the Israeli consulate in the United States were referred to officials in Israel.
The Prime Minister's Office referred queries on the matter to the Foreign Ministry. Foreign Ministry spokesman Arye Mekel said: "We know nothing about it. We have nothing to say."
Kadish worked at the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at the Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, New Jersey. On numerous occasions between 1979 and 1985, the agent provided Kadish with lists of US national defense classified documents he was interested in, according to the complaint. Kadish worked at the military facility from 1963 through 1990.
The complaint described a close relationship between the two men that continued beyond 1985, and included telephone and e-mail conversations exchanged as recently as Sunday.
The unidentified Israeli agent - since identified in Israel as Yossi Yagur - was described in the complaint as a one-time employee of Israeli Aircraft Industries, which since at least the late 1970s has been a defense manufacturing contractor for the Israeli government. The company is now known as Israeli Aerospace Industries.
From July 1980 through November 1985, Yagur worked for the Israeli government as the consul for science affairs at the Israeli consulate in Manhattan.
The two men were introduced by Kadish's brother, who worked with Yagur at the manufacturing plant in Israel.
The research center where Kadish worked housed a library of documents, including many with classified information related to US national defense. From 1979 through 1985, Kadish signed out at least 35 classified documents, according to the complaint.
Kadish told the FBI that he knew that one restricted document he provided to Yagur included atomic-related information and that he did not have the required clearance to borrow it, according to the complaint.
Prosecutors say Yagur called Kadish on March 20 and told him to lie to federal law enforcement agents who were investigating possible espionage.
"Don't say anything. Let them say whatever they want. You didn't ... do anything. ... What happened 25 years ago? You didn't remember anything," Yagur allegedly told Kadish in Hebrew.
In addition to the spying counts, Kadish is charged with conspiring to hinder a communication with, and to make a materially false statement to, a law enforcement officer. Those charges stem from the March conversation.
Yagur left the United States in November 1985 and has not returned, according to the complaint, which described him as the same Israeli to whom Pollard provided classified information.
Pollard, a former civilian intelligence analyst for the US Navy, pleaded guilty to transferring military secrets to Israel while working at the Pentagon. He is serving a life sentence in a US federal prison.
US State Department spokesman Tom Casey said that more than 20 years ago, when the Pollard affair emerged, the US said that it had not expected such conduct from a close ally and that the same applied in the Kadish case.
Pollard's wife, Esther, a vocal critic of both the US and Israeli governments' handling of her husband's case, said there was no connection between Kadish and her husband, and expressed concerned that the new case "could result in a further delay in Jonathan's release from prison."
"This kind of propaganda plays right into the hands of the people in Israel who are not interested in Jonathan's release," she said.
The Kadish story, she added, was no different from other reports that have been used in the past to embarrass Israel, and called upon Prime Minister Ehud Olmert "not to be distracted by this case from what he should be doing and that's bringing Jonathan home."
She said she was worried that Olmert might now decide that it was "too delicate a time" to make a serious effort to bring Jonathan home in honor of Israel's 60th birthday celebrations.
Gerrie Bamira, the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County, in which Kadish's home in Monroe Township is located, said she knew Kadish and his wife, Doris, through their supported of the Federation.
"Information is still being gathered with respect to this case, and we look forward to the due process of law," Bamira said. "Individuals are innocent until proven guilty."
According to some accounts, Kadish was born in Connecticut and moved to pre-state Israel, where he fought with the Hagana. Other accounts say he served in the American military during World War II.
Michal Lando contributed to this report.
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