U.S. authorities announced on Tuesday that an 83-year-old retired American engineer, Ben Ami Kadish, is suspected of passing military secrets to Israel between 1979 and 1985. These secrets are said to have involved nuclear weapons, fighter jets and the Patriot air defense missiles.
U.S. government sources said Kadish's Israeli handler, Yossi Yagur, was the same man who handled Jonathan Pollard, who has been languishing in U.S. jails for 23 years. After Pollard, a former naval analyst, was arrested on suspicion of spying for Israel, the handler left the United States and Kadish went underground, the sources said.
Agent for the Government of Israel
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and two FBI agents, in conjunction with the U.S. Army, announced Kadish was being held 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 charge sheet, Kadish, a citizen of the United States and a mechanical engineer living in Monroe county, NJ, was employed at the U.S. Army´s Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center at the Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, New Jersey from 1979 to 1985. The Arsenal kept a library of documents with classified information related to the national defense of the United States.
On numerous occasions during this time period, Kadish borrowed classified documents from the library and took them to his residence in New Jersey. At the Residence, Kadish would then provide the documents to Yossi Yagur, the Consul for Science Affairs at the Israeli Consulate General in Manhattan,who would photograph them in the basement of the residence.
Charged with four counts
One of the classified documents that Kadish provided to Yagur contained information concerning nuclear weaponry and was classified as "Restricted Data," a specific designation by the U.S. Department of En
After Pollard was arrested, the handler left the US and Kadish went underground.
ergy, because the document contained atomic-related information. Another one of the documents that Kadish provided contained information concerning 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 "Not Releasable to Foreign Nationals."
Kadish is charged with 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 was scheduled to appear Tuesday afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Douglas F. Eaton in Manhattan federal court. The prosecution is being handled by the U.S. Attorney´s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department´s National Security Division.