October 20, 2009

US scientist charged with attempted spying for Israel

October 19, 2009

AFP - A top American scientist who once worked for the Pentagon and the US space agency NASA was arrested Monday and charged with attempted spying for Israel, the Department of Justice said.

In Depth Report:

The Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies
Alexandria, VA | October 19, 2009

Counterintelligence - Espionage - Spy Case

Name - Stewart NozetteNOZETTE, Stewart David

Employer - Alliance for Competitive Technology, R&D contracts with:
--U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.

--Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in Arlington, Virginia

--National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland

--Served as a consultant and investment advisor to Murphree Texas Investors and with associated venture backed technology companies
Previous Employment:
--US Department of Energy
--US Department of Defense
--White House National Space Council
Dates of Employment
1983-1984: University of California at San Diego, California Space Institute

1984-1989: University of Texas at Austin, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

1986-1989: Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, in the Office of Survivability, Lethality, and Key Technologies

1989-1990: White House National Space Council

Oct 1991-Oct 1994: Department of Defense Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, Science and Technology Directorate

1990-1999: US Department of Energy/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

1994-1997: USAF Phillips Laboratory

1997-1998: Hughes Space and Communications

Nov 1998-Jan 2008: Technical advisor to an aerospace company wholly owned by the Israeli government

March 2000-2006: Alliance for Competitive Technology (ACT)
Job Title/Duties
Alliance for Competitive Technology: President, Treasurer and Director

NASA: Mini-RF Principal Investigator (on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) and Co-investigator (on Chandrayaan-1).

USAF Phillips Laboratory: Technical director of the microsatellite program

DOE/LLNL: Professional Staff. Physicist in the "O" Division, Advanced Concepts Group

Hughes Space and Communications: Consultant and Senior Scientist for Spacecraft Design and Production

Department of Defense Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, Science and Technology Directorate: Deputy for Sensor Integration (The Clementine Program)

Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, in the Office of Survivability, Lethality, and Key Technologies: Special Assistant

University of Texas at Austin, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics: Faculty member; Research Fellow IC2 Institute and as the Vice President of the Large Scale Programs Institute

University of California at San Diego, California Space Institute: Post-graduate researcher where he participated in the Defensive Technology Study (Fletcher Study).
Military Rank - n/a

Clearance Level
1989-17 March 2006: TS/SCI, Q Critical Nuclear Weapon Design Information clearance. From 1998-2004, he claims to have held at least 20 special access program clearances.
Spying For - Israel (attempt).

Spying Dates - 3 September 2009 - 19 October 2009

Nov 1998-Jan 2008: Technical advisor to an aerospace company wholly owned by the Israeli government. Once a month, the company proposed questions or taskings to Nozette, who then answered the questions and received payment as a technical advisor.

Nozette tells colleague that if the US Government tried to put him in jail (based on an unrelated criminal offense), Nozette would move to Israel or foreign country "A" and "tell them everything" he knows.

6 Jan 2009: Traveled to a foreign country "A" with two computer thumb drives.

28 Jan 2009: Returned to US without the two thumb drives.

3 Sept 09: Nozette contacted via telephone by FBI undercover employee (UCE) posing as an Israeli Mossad officer. Nozette agrees to meet that day for lunch at a hotel on Connecticut Ave, NW, in Washington, DC. At meeting, Nozette discusses willingness to work for Israeli intelligence for money; tells UCE he had access to US satellite information. UCE arranges a communication system via a post office box and gives Nozette a 'clean phone'. Nozette agrees to provide regular, continuing information; asks for Israeli passport and the "Right of Return" because his parents are Jewish.

4 Sep 09: Nozette and UCE meet again at same hotel. Nozette asks that his first payment in cash be under $10K so he wouldn't have to report it.

10 Sep 09: FBI puts a letter to Nozette in the post office box. Letter is a list of questions regarding US satellite information. $2K in cash is included.

Nozette retrieves the letter on the same day.

16 Sep 09: Nozette leaves an envelope in the post office box in Washington, DC.

17 Sep 09: FBI retrieves contents. Nozette had answered the questions in the letter about US satellites (including one answer classified SECRET) and included an encrypted computer thumb drive. Nozette also offers to reveal additional classified information concerning nuclear weaponry, military spacecraft or satellites, and other major weapons systems.

FBI leaves a second letter with more US satellite questions in the PO Box along with $9K.

Nozette retrieves the letter.

1 Oct 09: Nozette leaves an envelope in the PO Box with the answers to the second set of questions. Answers include TOP SECRET and SECRET classifications concerning U.S. satellites, early warning systems, means of defense or retaliation against large-scale attack, communications intelligence information, and major elements of defense strategy.

FBI agents retrieve his envelope with this information.

Possible Motivations, Problems
Money. "Well I should tell you my first need is that they should figure out how to pay me....they don't expect me to do this for free."--Nozette to UCE
1998-2008: Paid $225,000 for his services as a technical advisor to an aerospace company wholly owned by the Israeli government.

2006: NASA's IG subpoenaed the bank account of Alliance for Competitive Technology (owned by Nozette) because of allegations the company submitted false claims for expenses.

9 June 2003: Purchased residential condominium property at 4601 N. Park Avenue, Unit 210K for $235,000 and Unit P-431 for $235,000.
Investigation - Undercover FBI employee posing as an Israeli Mossad officer.

Arrest Date/Location - Monday, 19 October 2009

Violation of Title 18 USC 794

Attempted espionage for knowingly and willfully attempting to communicate, deliver, and transmit classified information relating to the national defense of the United States to an individual that Nozette believed to be an Israeli intelligence officer
Court - U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Date/Place of Birth - 20 May 1957, Chicago, IL

Citizenship - US

"The Elizabeth" condominiums in Chevy Chase, MD

Grew up in Chicago, Illinois (West Rogers Park)
1979: B.S. in geosciences with honors and distinction from the University of Arizona

1983: Ph.D. in planetary science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Family - Married

Other Employment
From George C. Marshall Institute--Science for Better Public Policy website:
Stewart Nozette manages the Advanced Microsatellite Technology Program for the DARPA Tactical Technology Office. He has held appointments at the National Research Laboratory, Teller Corporation, Hughes Space and Communications Corporation, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He was the deputy program manager for the Clementine program and a staff member on the National Space Council under President George H. W. Bush.
Additional Bio
1994: Nozette awarded the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal for his conception and execution of the Clementine mission.

--One of the National Space Society’s 25 Young Space Pioneers for 1994

--Recipient of the NSS 1994 Award for Achievement in Science and Engineering.

--Received the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement

--National Space Club Nelson P Jackson Award

--Aviation Week and Space Technology 1994 Aerospace Laurel Award for outstanding achievement in the field of Space

--1995 Space Frontier Foundation Vision to Reality Award

--X-Prize Foundation New Spirit of St. Louis Award
Profile on NASA website:
How did you get interested in space exploration? I was born in 1957, the year of Sputnik, grew up during the Apollo years, and always had an interest in space exploration and strong science aptitude. The works of Gerard K. O’Neill, which appeared during my high school years in the early 1970s, encouraged my consideration of space exploration as a career. Up until that time I was planning to go to medical school. I was strongly encouraged by many influential people during my undergraduate years and finally closed off my medical option during my sophomore year, much to the benefit of my future patients (many people have told me).

What are your hobbies? I used to fly and scuba dive when I was younger but have not been as active recently. Now I enjoy cooking and listening to The Grateful Dead Channel on Sirius satellite radio.

What’s your job on Mini-RF? I am the principal investigator/co-investigator, so I act to oversee and document the scientific aspects of the program and translate these requirements into specific actions for the engineers and operators.

What has been the most exciting aspect of working on Mini-RF? Seeing it come to fruition after many years of thought and work. I conceived the idea of Mini-RF in 1994 while working as the deputy program manager and chief scientist of the Clementine mission, so returning to the moon with this capability is very satisfying.

What are you looking forward to the most as Mini-RF begins its lunar exploration? Finally seeing what’s at the bottom of the permanently shadowed polar craters.

What excites you about exploring the moon? The possibility that Mini-RF will provide the data that establishes whether extractable water exists on the moon and the importance of that information to the feasibility of humans eventually settling on the moon permanently.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get involved in space exploration? The most important thing is to get a very good grounding in fundamental math, basic and applied science, and engineering. Some exposure to business, management and economics would also be valuable. Then finding a career path with helpful mentors who can get you involved in real projects once you are sufficiently grounded.
Maryland Scientist Charged with Attempted Espionage (DOJ press release, 19 Oct 09)

Affidavit in Support of a Criminal Complaint and Arrest Warrant (16 Oct 09)

Nozette is author of "Commercializing SDI Technologies" (1987)
"This highly specialized volume examines the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) for the first time, with critical emphasis on the impact SDI will have on technologically based industries. It reviews the policies and structures in the government, academia, and industry necessary to take full advantage of the commercial potential of the benefits-to-come from the SDI research program."

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