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U.S. Army Translator Pleads Guilty to Unauthorized Possession of Classified Documents Concerning Iraqi Insurgency

February 14, 2007

BROOKLYN, NY – A U.S. Army contract translator pleaded guilty today in federal court in Brooklyn to illegally possessing national defense documents. The defendant, whose true name and identity remains unknown, was indicted on March 30, 2006, following an investigation by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (“JTTF”). Previously, in November 2005, the defendant was indicted for using a false identity to procure his United States citizenship and to gain access to classified military materials, and he pleaded guilty to those charges on December 20, 2005. When sentenced by United States District Judge Edward R. Korman, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 60 years of imprisonment on his two convictions.

According to the indictment and court filings by the government, in August 2003 the defendant used a false identity to apply for and gain a position as an Arabic translator for the L-3 Titan Corp., which provides translation services in Iraq for U.S. military personnel. The defendant then used the same false identity fraudulently to obtain “Secret” and then “Top Secret” security clearances. Thereafter, during assignments in Iraq, the defendant took various classified documents from the U.S. Army without authorization. While assigned to an intelligence group in the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army at Al Taqqadam Air Base, the defendant downloaded a classified document and took hard copies of several other classified documents. The documents detail the 82nd Airborne’s mission in Iraq in regard to insurgent activity, such as coordinates of insurgent locations upon which the U.S. Army was preparing to fire in January 2004, and U.S. Army plans for protecting Sunni Iraqis traveling on their pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in late January 2004. During a later deployment to a U.S. Army base near Najaf, Iraq, the defendant photographed a classified battle map identifying U.S. troop routes used in August 2004 during the bloody battle of Najaf, where the U.S. and Iraqi security forces sustained serious casualties. In September 2005, the JTTF recovered these classified documents during a search of the defendant’s Brooklyn apartment. One of the documents remains classified and is not described here.

“Safeguarding military plans and intelligence is vital to the security of our nation,” stated United States Attorney Mauskopf. “The defendant fraudulently obtained security clearances and then stole classified military information. He will now be held to account for his crimes.” Ms. Mauskopf praised the work of the FBI, the New York City Police Department, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for spearheading the investigation resulting in the defendant’s guilty pleas, and thanked the U.S. Department of Defense for its assistance.

Mark J. Mershon, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, “The true character of this defendant has been his consistent resort to untruth. He lied to attain his U.S. citizenship. He lied to gain employment with a government contractor. And he lied to obtain security clearances. Through serial deception, an eminently untrustworthy person inveigled his way into a position of trust, and he abused that trust.”

Kevin Delli-Colli, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), New York, stated, “The security of our country is a priority of ICE and the Department of Homeland Security. Today’s plea demonstrates our commitment to our nation’s security at home and abroad, and we will continue to partner with all law enforcement agencies to this end.”

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys John Buretta and Jeffrey Knox.

The Defendant:

First and last name unknown. The defendant has used the following names at various times:

            “Abdulhakeem Nour,”

            “Abu Hakim,”                                                           

            “Noureddine Malki,”  

            “Almaliki Nour” and

            “Almalik Nour Eddin”

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