Pretty extensive info at the following link, I will post what I can here in case it “disappears”
| 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
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)
| 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).
|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.|
|3 September 2009 – 19 October 2009|
Nov 1998-Jan 2008: Technical advisor to Israel Aerospace Industry, a company wholly owned by the Israeli government and is Israel’s largest exporter of defense and aerospace technology. 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|
| Nov 1998-Jan 2008: Paid $225,000 for his services as a Technical Advisor/Consultant to Israel Aerospace Industry, a company wholly owned by the Israeli government and is Israel’s largest exporter of defense and aerospace technology.|
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.
| Undercover FBI employee posing as an Israeli Mossad officer.|
FBI WFO, NCIS, AFOSI
|Monday, 19 October 2009/ Mayflower Hotel, Washington D.C.|
| 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
|U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia|
|Paul Kiyonaga, Defense Lawyer|
| 29 October 2009: Next court appearance|
20 October 2009: Held without bail
Date/Place of Birth
|20 May 1957, Chicago, IL|
| “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
| 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.
| 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
–Received the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement
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)|
Nozette allegedly discussed getting paid by the Israelis and made reference to the aerospace company, “I thought I was working for you already. I mean that’s what I always thought, [the foreign company] was just a front.”
Nozette indicated to undercover agent that he could be paid in cash up to $10,000. “Cash is fine…[I know] how to handle cash…you buy consumables…cash is good for anything…you can eat it, drink it or screw it.”
| DOD News Briefing: Discovery of Ice on the Moon (3 Dec 1996)|
with Stewart Nozette, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory
| 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.”
CI Centre Training Courses
| 220 Israeli Intelligence Services: Operations & Methodologies|
For more information or to schedule, contact us.
. . . . FBI agents arrested Stewart D. Nozette on Monday on allegations that he tried to pass national secrets to the Israeli government in exchange for $11,000. The government filed a one-count indictment against Nozette late Wednesday afternoon, court records show. He has a detention hearing scheduled for Oct. 29 in the District’s federal court. Nozette, 52, is accused of passing secrets to an FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer. The agent called Nozette in early September, and the scientist said he would be willing to work as a spy, authorities said.
. . . . Spokesmen for the Israeli Embassy have declined to comment. The Justice Department stressed that the Israeli government has not been accused of wrongdoing.
Some time before taking an overseas trip in January, Nozette told a colleague he would flee the United States if it attempted to put him in jail for an unrelated offense. He told the colleague that he would then tell “everything” to the governments of an unidentified country or Israel, court records show. Court records show that the NASA inspector general was looking into allegations that Nozette and his nonprofit consulting firm, Alliance for Competitive Technology, submitted false expense claims to the space agency in 2006. In February 2007, federal authorities searched his house and seized computer gear and a bong, records show. A federal law enforcement official said that Nozette pleaded guilty to charges arising from the NASA inspector general’s investigation. The official, who requested anonymity, declined to elaborate because the case is under seal in the District’s federal court. (Washington Post, 23 Oct 09)
Among other things, Nozette had exceptionally broad access to a range of classified programs in defense, space and nuclear technology. According to an FBI affidavit (pdf), Nozette stated that he “held a DOE Q clearance from 1990-2000, which involved insight into all aspects of nuclear weapons programs. Held TS/SI/TK/B/G clearance 1998-2006 . . . Held at least 20+ SAP [special access program clearances] . . . from 1998-2004.”
In fact, however, Nozette’s participation in Department of Defense special access programs dates back even earlier, to 1990 or so. At that time he was read into an unacknowledged special access program called Timber Wind (pdf), which was an effort by the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization to develop a rocket engine powered by a nuclear reactor. Dr. Nozette’s name appears on a Timber Wind master access list we obtained which identified the several hundred persons who were authorized to be briefed on that nuclear rocket program.
The discovery of the hyper-classified Timber Wind program was an inspiration for the FAS Project on Government Secrecy, since we considered it a compelling instance of classification abuse. On a number of occasions I asked Dr. Nozette about the program, but he was always quite scrupulous about rebuffing my inquiries.
Timber Wind was canceled shortly after it became public, and other nuclear rocket initiatives likewise faded away in the 1990s, as the effort to develop nuclear rocketry for military or civilian applications surged and then collapsed, leaving behind only a bunch of good stories.
An idiosyncratic new memoir (pdf) by Tony Zuppero, one of the would-be nuclear rocketeers, tells those stories as he recalls them, with sometimes alarming candor, humor, and disappointment. (FAS, 23 Oct 09)
Scientist Nozette worked on early warning defense systems
A former government scientist arrested earlier this week tried to provide Israel with classified information on satellites and early warning defense systems, says a grand jury indictment. The grand jury indictment follows Monday’s arrest of Stewart D. Nozette, who spent 16 years doing sensitive defense work for the Energy Department, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The information Nozette allegedly tried to provide Israel in an FBI sting operation dealt with “satellites, early warning systems, means of defense or retaliation against large-scale attack, communications intelligence information and major elements of defense strategy,” said the indictment, which did not elaborate. Earlier this week, a former colleague said that Nozette was primarily a defense technologist who had worked on the Reagan-era Star Wars missile shield effort formally named the Strategic Defense Initiative. . . . One aspect of Nozette’s work on the Strategic Defense Initiative involved a project called Timber Wind, an effort to develop a rocket engine powered by a nuclear reactor. . . . Nozette, who received a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983, faces a court appearance next Thursday before a federal magistrate. He is jailed without bond. (AP, 22 Oct 09)
Dr.Stewart Nozette, American space scientist and noted geophysicist, missile defense expert and leading lunar researcher at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), was arrested this week by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after being swept up in a sting operation aimed exclusively at him. It is a story that started to unfold three years ago.
. . . . Is India, in fact, “Country A” which is named throughout the court documents that have been revealed by US authorities? One can only guess. When an attempt was made just a few weeks ago to fly ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe in tandem with NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) so that the synthetic aperture radars on both spacecraft could engage in so-called bi-static observations of the lunar surface, Nozette was standing by to help ensure success on August 20 as these two spacecraft – only 20 kilometers apart – passed high over the Erlanger Crater at the lunar North Pole. He was principal investigator on the LRO’s so-called Mini-RF radar system, and he had to go over the pointing problems that arose and ultimately caused this joint mission to fail. . . . This week, ISRO is saying nothing about Nozette’s kind words, and conveying a sense of calm by emphasizing that no harm was done to India’s space or national interests by Nozette in this regard now that Nozette finds himself facing a proceeding in a US federal courtroom. . . . But it is the timing once again that is perplexing. Yes, there is much more to this than meets the eye. Just ask Scott Stewart, vice president of tactical intelligence at Texas-based STRATFOR, a global intelligence company. “OK, there is more to it. It must be understood that Israel currently poses one of the most profound espionage threats to the United States – especially pertaining to defense technology – and they are very high on the FBI’s list of counter-intelligence priorities,” said Stewart. Israel also just happens to be where the US is jointly conducting one of the largest and most sophisticated ballistic missile defense drills that the world has ever seen. (Asia Times, 22 Oct 09)
ISRO clarifies over Nozette’s arrest
According to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), US Senior scientist David Nozette is not a threat for ISRO’s activities. Nozette was arrested by FBI with charges of spying for Israel. Nozette, NASA scientist had visited the premises of ISRO twice and this caused doubts of his passing on information on Chandrayaan project. Bhaskaran Nair, ISRO’s Chief Security Officer denied any access to Nozette to any critical data during his visits. Nair informed “There is no threat to ISRO or to Chandrayaan. ISRO has strict security protocols for foreign scientists. Accordingly, Nozette had not been allowed access to critical establishments, as he was not allowed to the clean room.” (Duniy Alive, 21 Oct 09)
. . . . Stewart David Nozette, 52, of the 100 block of Grafton Street, has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Oct. 29 at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on charges that he attempted to pass classified information related to national defense and U.S. space research to an undercover officer with the FBI whom he believed to be an intelligence officer for Israel, according to a criminal complaint filed by the FBI in court on Friday. He is currently being detained until the Oct. 29 hearing date. If convicted, Nozette faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. A call to his attorney in Washington, D.C., Paul Kiyonaga, had not been returned as of press time. . . . The complaint stated that on Jan. 6 of this year, Nozette flew from Dulles International Airport to a foreign country not identified in the FBI’s criminal complaint with two computer “thumb” drives. When he returned to the United States on Jan. 28, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol could not locate these drives during a search of Nozette’s possessions. Prior to this trip, Nozette told an unnamed colleague that if the U.S. government tried to incarcerate him for any crime, he would move to Israel or another foreign country and “tell them everything” he knew, according to the FBI complaint. On Sept. 3, Nozette was contacted by an undercover FBI officer posing as an officer for Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, and Nozette agreed to meet with the officer the same day at a hotel on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C., according to the criminal complaint. . . . In the criminal complaint, the FBI recorded Nozette telling the undercover officer that he was willing to be a continuing “asset” for Mossad. Nozette said that his parents were Jewish and that he was interested in obtaining an Israeli passport, to have another “base of operations.” He also told the undercover FBI officer he expected to be contacted by Mossad at some point. “I knew you guys would show up,” Nozette told the undercover officer at the Sept. 3 hotel meeting. (Gazette, 21 Oct 09)
. . . . Since Mr. Nozette’s arrest on Monday, journalists and bloggers have been trying to fill in a couple of intriguing blanks in the criminal complaint. The first one is the identity of the unnamed “foreign company” mentioned in the complaint. According to the government, for most of the past decade Mr. Nozette “acted as a technical consultant for an aerospace company that was wholly owned by the Government of the State of Israel.” On Tuesday, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Mr. Nozette had been employed as an outside consultant by Israel Aerospace Industries. Haaretz reports that the company is “Israel’s largest exporter of defense and aerospace technology.”. . . . The Justice Department said on Monday that “the complaint does not allege that the government of Israel or anyone acting on its behalf committed any offense under U.S. laws in this case.” But the complaint does mention that when Mr. Nozette traveled to “a different foreign country,” identified only as “foreign country A,” in January, he returned without two thumb drives found in his luggage when he left the United States. In a post on Talking Points Memo, Justin Elliott examined the possibility that “country A” could be India. . . . In India, media reports focused on the question of whether Mr. Nozette might have spied against rather than for India. According to a report from the Indian news agency ANI, an official with the Indian space agency, Bhaskaran Nair, “said Nozette visited ISRO’s establishments in Bangalore twice during the Chandrayan project and interacted with scientists but had no access to critical scientific establishments during the visit.” (New York Times Lede, 21 Oct 09)
. . . . Stewart D. Nozette, 52, was arrested Monday afternoon on a charge of attempted espionage after authorities accused him of passing classified information to an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence operative. U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson ordered Nozette detained until a preliminary hearing Oct. 29. Nozette has held multiple government research jobs and gained notice for working on a satellite radar system that detected ice on the moon in 1994. Nozette also conducted research in recent years for the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, authorities said.
The scientist held security clearances as high as top secret and had access to classified material as recently as 2006, authorities said. His access to such material was suspended that year after the NASA inspector general launched an investigation of his firm’s billing practices, court records show. From 1989 through 2008, Nozette worked as a consultant for an aerospace firm owned by the Israeli government.
Nozette also was president of a nonprofit group, Alliance for Competitive Technology, that he founded in 1990. The group and Nozette had contracts from 2000 through 2006 to provide technology to the U.S. government, including NASA. In 2006, the NASA inspector general began an investigation of Nozette and his firm based on allegations that they submitted false expense claims, court records show. Federal authorities searched Nozette’s house in February 2007 and seized computer gear and a bong, records indicate. (Washington Post, 21 Oct 09)
It appears astrophysics isn’t a good prerequisite for espionage. Hot off the heels of this month’s arrest of an alleged al-Qaeda operative at the CERN lab, a U.S. scientist was brought down Monday for trying to sell state secrets to Israel. Stewart David Nozette, third from the left in the photo, once had top security clearance during his tenure with both the U.S. Department of Defense and NASA. While he worked in the George H.W. Bush administration, he had access to top secret and secret information about U.S. satellites. When approached by an undercover FBI agent, he offered to spill this information if Israeli intelligence could pony up the cash. (The sting’s details are here) (NPR/Foreign Policy, 21 Oct 09)
Since the Feds unsealed a criminal complaint against a former high level NASA scientist yesterday, charging him with attempted espionage, media interest has focused on the Israel angle: an FBI employee posed as a Mossad agent and gave Stewart Nozette money for classified satellite information . . . . But a curious section in the criminal complaint suggests that there was a foreign country — identified only as “Country A” — to which Nozette may have passed information. And there’s circumstantial evidence suggesting one “Country A” candidate is India.
. . . . according to the complaint, Nozette in January traveled to Country A, taking two computer thumb drives along, but returning without them. There’s no crime alleged regarding the trip to Country A, but the Feds were clearly tracking Nozette at the time, because a TSA officer searched him as he was leaving the country, noting the drives, and a customs officer “thoroughly” searched him on the way back, observing that he no longer had the drives. According to the complaint, Nozette also told a colleague sometime before the January trip that, if the government tried to “put him in jail” in an unrelated case involving his non-profit, Nozette would move to Israel or Country A and “tell them everything” he knew. (TPM, 21 Oct 09)
For some cowboys, space just isn’t enough. Stewart David Nozette, arrested October 19 on attempted espionage charges, was a respected U.S. scientist who had worked on the Star Wars missile shield effort and helped discover water on the moon. But around 2006 or so, investigators became suspicious that Nozette was secretly working for a foreign government, and in September they launched a sting: an FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer asked the 52-year-old to provide sensitive material. He allegedly coughed up a treasure trove of top secret information about U.S. early warning systems, satellites, communications intelligence and military and defense strategy. If the high-flying scientist was seeking adventure, it ends here: if convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison. (Time, 21 Oct 09)
Stewart David Nozette, the Chevy Chase scientist who is accused of trying to sell classified secrets to Israel, once worked on the Reagan administration’s Star Wars missile-shield program, a former colleague said Tuesday.
He has also led scientific teams working with experiments on NASA spacecraft sent to orbit the moon in search of water, the space agency said. . . . . Nozette, 52, appeared Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson, where he was informed of the charges against him. Nozette gave his name but otherwise did not speak.
. . . . The next court proceeding in the case is scheduled for Oct. 29. (Baltimore Sun, 21 Oct 09)
Justice says scientist Stewart Nozette tried to share US secrets
. . . . Arrested in an FBI sting operation, Stewart David Nozette was jailed without bond and accused in a criminal complaint of two counts of attempting to communicate, deliver and transmit classified information.
Had he succeeded in passing classified information, Nozette would have done grave damage to the nation’s security because the information he possesses includes “some of our most guarded secrets,” assistant U.S. attorney Anthony Asuncion said in court. He did not elaborate. . . . . In an interview, Scott Hubbard, a former colleague, said that Nozette was primarily a defense technologist who had worked on the Reagan-era Star Wars effort formally named the Strategic Defense Initiative. . . . At Energy, Nozette held a special security clearance equivalent to the Defense Department’s top secret and “critical nuclear weapon design information” clearances. DOE clearances apply to access information specifically relating to atomic or nuclear-related materials. . . . Hubbard said that the Clementine project Nozette worked on in the 1990s was essentially a nonmilitary application of Star Wars technology. Nozette also worked for the White House’s National Space Council in 1989 and 1990. . . . A law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said authorities became worried about possible espionage activity by Nozette after an investigation by NASA’s inspector general in 2006 began looking at whether Nozette submitted false claims for expenses that were not actually incurred. In probing Nozette’s finances in that case, investigators found indications he might be working for a foreign government, and they launched a national security investigation that eventually led to the undercover FBI sting, the official said. The official was not authorized to discuss details of the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity. At the time of the IG probe, Nozette went to court to fight the inquiry. The IG investigation subpoenaed a bank account of Nozette’s firm, Alliance For Competitive Technology Inc. A federal judge rejected Nozette’s motion to quash the subpoena. From 1998 to 2008, the complaint against Nozette alleges, he was a technical adviser for a consultant company that was wholly owned by the Israeli government. Nozette was paid about $225,000 over that period, the court papers say. (AP, 20 Oct 09)
Space scientist Nozette charged with espionage
. . . . Stewart Nozette, a 52-year-old former government physicist, allegedly tried to sell details of US missile detection satellites in exchange for cash. Nozette’s worked for pretty much every military shop in the US government including the Air Force’s Phillips Laboratory, the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Naval Research Laboratory, and the Defense Advanced Research Project’s Administration (DARPA). He also served on president George H. W. Bush’s space council and worked with NASA. . . . This isn’t the first time Nozette has been in trouble with the government. According to press reports, a small non-profit Nozette ran came under investigation by NASA in 2006 for misusing funds to pay for utilities, three mortgages and use of the La Jolla Tennis Club. This time the charges are more serious. According to a 16th October affidavit signed by FBI agent Leslie Martell, Nozette was contacted last month by an undercover officer posing as an agent working for the Israeli Intelligence Agency, Mossad. According to transcripts reprinted in the affidavit, Nozette agreed to accept money in exchange for his past access to top secret documents. Work for Israel was nothing new for Nozette, the affidavit says that between 1998 and 2008, an Israeli aerospace company “wholly owned by the Government of the State of Israel” paid Nozette some $225,000. “I thought I was working for you already,” Nozette told the agent in a transcript reproduced in the affidavit. “I mean that’s what I always thought, the [foreign company] was just a front.” In September and October, Nozette allegedly provided details of a “prototype overhead collection system” to the FBI agent in exchange for cash payments of $2,000 and $9,000 dollars. He will appear later today in United States District court for the District of Columbia to face a single charge of attempted espionage. (Nature, 20 Oct 09)
. . . . Stewart Nozette, 52, was arrested shortly after 4:00 p.m. at the Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington by counterespionage agents from the FBI’s Washington field office after he believed he was meeting with agents from the Mossad to pass information to them in exchange for money, the Justice Department said. Nozette had been under investigation for some time according to an FBI affidavit and court records involving his firm, the Alliance for Competitive Technology (ACT). In early January 2009 as he traveled overseas, a security check of his personal bags indicated he had two computer thumb drives in his possession; yet, when he returned on his trip, the drives were no longer in his possession, according to the government. . . . Nozette, who established his own company, ACT, had been under criminal investigation by NASA’s Office of the Inspector General for submitting false billing records to NASA and the Defense Department as part of his government contracting work with ACT. The FBI affidavit in the case also alleges that between November 1998 and January 2008, Nozette had worked as a consultant for an Israeli aerospace company. . . . According to the affidavit, the FBI undercover agent told Nozette the Mossad would like to use a dead drop location to pass information via a post office box in Washington. In a series of later meetings with undercover agents, Nozette discussed getting paid by the Israelis and made reference to the aerospace company, allegedly saying, “I thought I was working for you already. I mean that’s what I always thought, [the foreign company] was just a front.” During one meeting, Nozette indicated he could be paid in cash up to $10,000. “Cash is fine…[I know] how to handle cash…you buy consumables…cash is good for anything…you can eat it, drink it or screw it.”. . . . The FBI later determined that the information provided by Nozette was classified as Top Secret. On one document, Nozette also seemed to brag that he had access to programs beyond Top Secret, classified as special access programs [SAP]. “Held at least 20+ SAP…from 1998-2004…These are among the most sensitive subjects.” (ABC, 20 Oct 09)
US scientist accused of trying to sell secrets
Prosecutors say a scientist who worked on the cutting edge of moon exploration has been caught trying to sell classified secrets to an FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence agent. Stewart David Nozette, who is credited with helping discover evidence of water on the moon and has been a leader in recent lunar exploration work, was arrested Monday and charged in a criminal complaint with attempting to communicate, deliver and transmit classified information. . . . To build a case against Nozette, FBI agents posed as officers of the Israeli intelligence service Mossad, and the criminal complaint suggests why they thought their suspect would take the bait.
From 1998 to 2008, the complaint alleges, Nozette was a technical adviser for a consultant company that was wholly owned by the Israeli government. Nozette was paid about $225,000 over that period, the court papers say. Then, in January of this year, Nozette allegedly traveled to another foreign country with two computer thumb drives and apparently did not return with them. Prosecutors also quote an unnamed colleague of Nozette who said the scientist said that if the U.S. government ever tried to put him in jail for an unrelated criminal offense, he would go to Israel or another foreign country and “tell them everything” he knows. (AP, 20 Oct 09)
Ex-colleague: Nozette worked on Star Wars
. . . . In an interview, Scott Hubbard said that a scientist arrested in an FBI sting, Stewart David Nozette, was primarily a technical defense expert working on the Reagan-era effort formally named the Strategic Defense Initiative. . . . At Energy, Nozette held a special security clearance equivalent to the Defense Department’s top secret and “critical nuclear weapon design information” clearances. DOE clearances apply to access to information specifically relating to atomic or nuclear-related materials. . . . A law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said authorities became worried about possible espionage activity by Nozette after an Inspector General investigation in 2006 began looking at whether Nozette submitted false claims for expenses that were not actually incurred. In probing Nozette’s finances in that case, investigators found indications he might be working for a foreign government, and launched a national security investigation that eventually led to the undercover FBI sting, the official said. The official was not authorized to discuss details of the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity. Nozette also held top offices at the Alliance for Competitive Technology, a nonprofit corporation that he organized. Between January 2000 and February 2006, Nozette, through his company, had several agreements to develop advanced technology for the U.S. government. To build a case against Nozette, FBI agents posed as officers of the Israeli intelligence service Mossad, and the criminal complaint suggests why they thought their suspect would take the bait. From 1998 to 2008, the complaint alleges, Nozette was a technical adviser for a consultant company that was wholly owned by the Israeli government. Nozette was paid about $225,000 over that period. (AP, 20 Oct 09)
The FBI has arrested a former senior NASA space scientist who worked in the George H.W. Bush White House space office for attempted espionage for Israel, the Justice Department announced today. The complaint “does not allege that the government of Israel or anyone acting on its behalf” committed any offense against US laws in this case, the release said . . . . This from the accompanying complaint is also interesting (Nozette to UCE he thinks is Israeli intelligence official):
“I thought I was working for you already. I mean that’s what I always thought, [the foreign company] was just a front.” An Israeli colleague suggests the Israeli company Nozette was working for may have been Israel Aircraft Industries, but wasn’t sure. (IAI wasn’t commenting to him; a source later told him it was IAI.) (Incidentally, Yosef Yagur, the alleged Israeli handler of an elderly American man Ben-Ami Kadish arrested last year in an old age home in New Jersey for having passed classified information to Israel in the 1980s, was also previously ostensibly employed by Israel Aircraft Industries (along with Kadish’s brother). Kadish later reached a plea deal with the US. Yagur had also reportedly received information from Jonathan Pollard.) (Politico, 19 Oct 09)
. . . . A criminal complaint unsealed today in Washington accuses Stewart David Nozette, 52, of Chevy Chase, of attempted espionage. Nozette allegedly attempted to deliver U.S. defense secrets to an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer in exchange for money, the Justice Department said in a statement.
Nozette held security clearances as high as top secret and had access to information related to national defense, according to the Justice Department. He developed a radar experiment that purportedly discovered water on the south pole of the moon and designed “highly advanced” technology at the Energy Department, according to the statement. . . . Nozette was arrested today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is due to appear tomorrow in U.S. District Court in Washington, according to the statement. The government’s complaint doesn’t allege that Israel or anyone acting on its behalf committed a crime. . . . Nozette worked at the Energy Department’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and did research at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in Arlington, Virginia, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, according to the Justice Department. From November 1998 through January 2008, Nozette worked as a technical consultant for an aerospace company that was owned by the government of Israel. Once a month, Nozette answered questions posed by the company in return for payments totaling about $225,000 over that period, according to a criminal complaint. . . . Thumb Drives
In January, Nozette traveled to an unnamed country carrying two computer thumb drives that were found in his baggage by an airport security inspector, according to the criminal complaint. When he returned to the U.S., he was searched by a customs officer who couldn’t locate the drives, the complaint said. On Sept. 3, he was contacted by telephone by an individual claiming to be an Israeli intelligence officer, according to the Justice Department. That person was an undercover FBI agent. Nozette met with the agent and indicated his willingness to work for Israeli intelligence, the statement said. . . . Providing Answers
Nozette allegedly provided answers to questions about U.S. satellite information and received a $2,000 cash payment, according to the statement. One of the answers provided information classified as secret, and he allegedly offered to reveal additional classified information on nuclear weapons, military spacecraft and other weapons systems, according to the Justice Department. The Justice Department wasn’t immediately able to provide the name of a lawyer representing Nozette. Nozette received a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge in 1983 and worked at the White House on the National Space Council in 1989 and 1990, according to the Justice Department.
The NASA Web site includes a question-and-answer page with Nozette related to his research exploring the Lunar poles. (Bloomberg, 19 Oct 09)
. . . . Stewart D. Nozette, 52, was arrested on a charge of attempted espionage and is being held pending an initial appearance Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, authorities said.
Authorities said the charges stemmed an undercover sting operation in which an FBI agent posed as an Israeli spy. Nozette allegedly passed the agent sensitive information through a “dead drop” at a D.C. post office in recent weeks, authorities said. Nozette worked for the Energy Department’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1990 through 1999, prosecutors said. He was credited with helping develop a radar in 1994 that suggested ice on the south pole of the moon. He was president of the Alliance for Competitive Technology, a nonprofit group he founded in 1990. He has held security clearances as high as top secret and had regular access to classified information as recently as 2006, federal authorities said. Authorities would not say what prompted their investigation, but an FBI agent wrote in court papers that Nozette acted as a technical consultant for an unnamed aerospace firm that the Israeli government owned. From 1998 through 2008, the scientist “answered the company’s questions and, in return, Nozette received regular payments from the company,” the agent wrote.
The agent wrote that the Israeli company paid Nozette $225,000 during that span. In 2007, federal authorities raided Nozette’s nonprofit group and his residence in Chevy Chase, according to a computerized court docket. The docket did not indicate why authorities searched the locations, but the investigation appears to be unrelated to the espionage allegations. Sometime before Nozette took a foreign trip in January, he told a colleague that he would flee the United States if charged with a crime, the agent wrote. Nozette added that he would tell officials from an unidentified country and Israel “everything” he knew, the court papers allege. (Washington Post, 19 Oct 09)
Scientist who worked for gov’t accused of spying
A scientist who worked for the Defense Department, a White House space council and other agencies was arrested Monday on charges of passing along classified information to an FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer. Stewart David Nozette, 52, of Chevy Chase, Md., was charged in a criminal complaint with attempting to communicate, deliver and transmit classified information, the Justice Department said. The complaint does not allege that the government of Israel or anyone acting on its behalf violated U.S. law. Nozette was arrested by FBI agents. He is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court in Washington on Tuesday. (AP, 19 Oct 09)
What Did The Moon Scientist Spy Tell The Israelis? Some Clues
The FBI today arrested an eminent space scientist, Stewart David Nozette, and charged him with espionage. He allegedly agreed to sell information about American nuclear weapons to an operative of Israel’s Mossad — only the agent turned out to be an uncover FBI agent. Nozette was the principal investigator on the NASA team that discovered water on the moon. But he spent years as a top scientist at the Department of Energy, where he specialized in satellite technology. From the FBI release, it’s hard to figure out what he might have given the Israelis and what he tried to sell to the undercover agent. But his resume provides a clue. (The Atlantic, 19 Oct 09)
. . . . The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland has sought financial records from the Alliance for Competitive Technology as part of a federal probe into whether the group made false claims to NASA, court records show.
The Justice Department and the attorney’s office filed papers in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt June 30 on behalf of NASA’s Office of Inspector General based at Goddard. The papers say the nonprofit group refused to fully comply with a subpoena, including a request for bank records and tax documents for 2004 and 2005. The nonprofit is run by Stewart Nozette, who was a staff member at the National Space Council under President George Bush. Mr. Nozette is a specialist in the Strategic Defense Initiative, or “Star Wars” program, and has held top scientific positions, including one with the U.S. Air Force’s Phillips Laboratory in Alexandria. . . . An affidavit from a NASA investigator says the Alliance has produced two months of financial records, but that investigators are seeking several years’ worth of them. The two months of bank statements show checks written from the Alliance’s business account for utilities, three mortgages, nine credit cards, the La Jolla Tennis Club, Mercedes Benz Credit Corp. and pool cleaning, the affidavit states. . . . A NASA investigator stated in an affidavit that Mr. Nozette entered into a deal with NASA in which the space agency would pay for his salary of $141,718 and benefits up to 40 percent of his base salary. However, the expenses were not reflected in the organization’s tax return, the affidavit said. The NASA investigator, employed at the agency’s Office of Inspector General, said he thinks “a similar pattern of alleged fraudulent activity” occurred in two other agreements. The investigator said he has investigated Alliance work agreements with the Naval Research Laboratory from 2000 to 2002 and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency from 2002 to 2004. (Washington Times, 16 Jul 06)