MANHATTAN — Michael J. Garcia, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Mark J. Mershon, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Weysan Dun, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Newark Office of the FBI, in conjunction with the U.S. Army, announced today the arrest of Ben-Ami Kadish 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 Complaint filed in Manhattan federal court:
From about 1979 through 1985, Kadish, a citizen of the United States, was a mechanical engineer, employed at the U.S. Army’s Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center at the Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, New Jersey (the “Arsenal”). The Arsenal kept a library of documents with classified information related to the national defense of the United States (the “Library”).
On numerous occasions during this time period, Kadish borrowed classified documents (the “Classified Documents”) from the Library and took the Classified Documents to his residence in New Jersey (the “Residence”). At the Residence, Kadish would then provide the Classified Documents to a co-conspirator not named herein as a defendant (“CC-1”), who would photograph the Classified Documents in the basement of the Residence.
From at least 1980 through 1985, CC-1, a citizen of Israel, was employed by the Government of Israel as the Consul for Science Affairs at the Israeli Consulate General in Manhattan and directed Kadish to provide the Classified Documents to him (CC-1).
One of the Classified Documents that Kadish provided to CC-1 contained information concerning nuclear weaponry and was classified as “Restricted Data,” a specific designation by the U.S. Department of Energy, because the document contained atomic-related information.
Another one of the Classified Documents that Kadish provided CC-1 contained information concerning a major weapons system -- 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 “Noforn,” or “Not Releasable to Foreign Nationals.”
Another one of the Classified Documents borrowed by Kadish from the Arsenal Library contained information concerning a major weapons system and major element of defense strategy -- the U.S. Patriot missile air defense system. This document was classified by the Department of Defense as “Secret.”
On March 20, 2008, Kadish and CC-1 had a telephone conversation, during which CC-1 instructed Kadish to lie to federal law enforcement officials. The following day, during an interview with the FBI, Kadish denied having had the telephone conversation with CC-1.
Kadish is charged with four counts: 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 is scheduled to appear this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Douglas F. Eaton in Manhattan federal court.
Mr. Garcia praised the FBI and the U.S. Army for their efforts in this continuing investigation.
This prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Iris Lan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and Trial Attorney Kathleen Kedian of the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.