US scientist who tried to spy for Israel: I won’t end up like Pollard

Former NASA scientist Stewart Nozette faces a third count of attempted espionage after Attorney’s Office files superseding indictment claiming he tried to pass classified information about US Navy to a man he thought was Israeli Intelligence officer

Ynet and Reuters

Published: 04.07.10, 12:57 / Israel News

Former NASA scientist Dr. Stewart Nozette, who was charged with trying to pass classified information to a man he thought was an Israeli Intelligence officer, told an undercover FBI agent that he does not want to “end up like Pollard,” the fox news network reported Tuesday.

In a newly filed search warrant affidavit the FBI says:

“When the (undercover FBI agent) asked Nozette if he was willing to give classified information to the Mossad, Nozette replied, “I just don’t want to end up like Pollard (meaning convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard). I’ll show you mine, you show me yours.”

According to the report, the FBI recorded several conversations with Nozette which have been revealed in court papers. In a conversation with the undercover last fall, Nozette said:

“I’m just wondering what was behind, whether (an Israeli aerospace company) was a vehicle for others to get to me. I never knew what was going on, you know, up the chain and you know I was a little frustrated that they didn’t act on a lot of the things I gave them.”

Nozette, 53, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, is facing a new charge of attempted espionage. According to the Fox report, the US Attorney’s Office in the District has filed a superseding indictment claiming he tried to pass classified information about the Navy to a man he thought was an Israeli Intelligence officer.

Nozette is already facing two other counts of attempted espionage for passing secret and top secret information to an undercover FBI agent. Nozette thought he was being recruited by the Mossad, the Israeli spy agency.

$2,000 in cash

According to an FBI complaint filed in October, 2009, Nozette worked as a technical consultant for for Israel Aerospace Industries between 1998 and 2008.he was paid a total of $225,000 during this period.

Nozette has worked for various government agencies, including the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

He worked at the White House on the National Space Council in 1989 and 1990, developing a radar experiment that helped discover water on the south pole of the moon.

Nozette then worked at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1990 to 1999, designing highly advanced technology.

He became president of the Alliance for Competitive Technology, a non-profit corporation where he had access to classified information.

According to court documents, Nozette was contacted by telephone on September 3 by an undercover FBI employee. Nozette met the agent that day and discussed his willingness to work for Israeli intelligence.

Nozette agreed to provide information to the employee and asked for an Israeli passport, according to FBI officials.

FBI agents asked Nozette to answer a list of questions about US satellite information and also provided him $2,000 in cash, they said.

On September 16, Nozette was captured on videotape leaving a manila envelope in a designated post office box in Washington. The envelope contained answers to the list of questions, the officials said.

They said the FBI agents then asked Nozette to answer another list of questions about US satellite information and left a cash payment of $9,000 in the post office box.

On October 1, Nozette was filmed leaving a manila envelope in the post office box. It contained classified information on US satellites, early warning systems, means of defense or retaliation against large-scale attack, communications intelligence, and major elements of defense strategy, the officials said.

If convicted, Nozette faces up to life in prison.

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