Army Engineer Accused of Spying for Israel

A former U.S. Army mechanical engineer has been arrested on charges he slipped classified documents about nuclear weapons to the Israelis during the 1980s. Ben-Ami Kadish, an 84-year-old U.S. citizen, faces four counts of spying.

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And I'm Robert Siegel.

A U.S. Army veteran has been arrested and charged with handing over nuclear secrets to Israel. The Justice Department claims that Ben-Ami Kadish passed classified documents to an Israeli government agent from 1979 to 1985, and that the two men kept in touch until March of this year.

NPR's Jackie Northam reports.

JACKIE NORTHAM: In a criminal complaint, the Justice Department says that Kadish handed over information - not only about American nuclear weapons, but also fighter jets and missile defense systems - to a handler who worked at the Israeli consulate in New York. At the time Kadish was an Army mechanical engineer based at a military research and development center in Dover, New Jersey. The Justice Department alleges the handler, identified only as CC-1, drew up lists of documents he wanted. Kadish would bring those documents to his home, where the Israeli would photograph them and then Kadish would return them.

SIEGEL: handing over information regarding nuclear weaponry. The Israeli Embassy in Washington had no immediate comment. The Justice Department says it believes Kadish's motive was ideological: to help the state of Israel. He never received any money, just a few small gifts and dinners. But his case raises a question that harks back to the Pollard incident: Just how widespread was the Israeli spying network in the United States?

Jackie Northam, NPR News, Washington.

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