Army Vet Charged With Spying For Israel

Silhouette of Spy over U.S. and Israel flags
A former U.S. 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, authorities said.

Ben-ami Kadish was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, where he was facing four counts of conspiracy, including allegations that he conspired to disclose U.S. national defense documents to Israel and that he acted as an agent of the Israeli government.

A criminal complaint said the activities occurred from 1979 through 1985 while Kadish worked at the U.S. Army's Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center in Dover, N.J.

Investigators believe Kadish, a U.S. citizen, took home secret documents and let the Israeli government worker photograph them. The co-conspirator was employed by the government of Israel from 1980-1985, CBS News reports. Among the documents was one concerning nuclear weaponry, another concerning the F-15 fighter jet and a third, the U.S. Patriot Missile Air Defense System.

According to the complaint, the Israeli government worker on numerous occasions between 1979 and 1985 provided Kadish with lists of U.S. national defense classified documents for Kadish to obtain.

Prosecutors also brought conspiracy charges against Kadish alleging that he conspired to hinder a communication with a law enforcement officer and conspired to make a materially false statement to a law enforcement officer.

Those charges stem from a March 20 conversation in which Kadish was told by the Israeli contact to lie to U.S. law enforcement agents, the complaint said.

A day later, Kadish lied to FBI agents about his communications with the Israeli worker, the complaint said.

Kadish was described in the complaint as a Connecticut-born man employed from October 1963 to January 1990 as a mechanical engineer at the Army's Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, where the research center is based.

The complaint said the Israeli worker, who was not identified in court papers, was born in Israel and is an Israeli citizen.

It said that in the late 1970s, the Israeli worker was employed at the Israeli Aircraft Industries in Israel, which since at least the late 1970s has been a defense manufacturing contractor for the Israeli government.

From July 1980 through November 1985, he lived in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and worked for the government of Israel as the consul for science affairs at the Israeli Consulate General in Manhattan, the complaint said.

The complaint noted that Pollard was charged in November 1985 with espionage-related offense after he provided classified information to the same Israeli worker, among other people.

The Israeli worker left the United States in November 1985 and has not returned, the complaint said.

Pollard, a former civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy, pleaded guilty when he was standing trial for transferring military secrets to Israel while working at the Pentagon. He is serving a life sentence in a U.S. federal prison.