MUSLIM ON US NAVY NUCLEAR AIRCRAFT CARRIER ATTEMPTED TO SELL SECRETS
Mostafa Ahmed Awwad, 35, was indicted by a grand jury on December 3, 2014, according to Department of Justice Documents. The agent he attempted to sell the secrets to was a federal undercover agent, who was working for the FBI.
The Navy Times reports:
According to a redacted affidavit from federal agent James Blitzer, Awwad was born in 1979 in Saudi Arabia. He married a US citizen in May 2007 in Cairo, Egypt, and later became a US citizen.
At the time of his indictment, Awwad, of Yorktown, Virginia, was working as a civilian engineer in the nuclear engineering and planning department of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, where he had been hired in February. He had been given a clearance of Secret.
The office provides engineering support for the Gerald R. Ford, under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding in nearby Newport News, Virginia.
The indictment and affidavit provide details of how, on Sept. 18, an FBI undercover agent speaking in Arabic contacted Awwad by phone and asked to meet the following day. Awwad subsequently agreed to copy and turn over diagrams and schematics of the carrier, many marked “NOFORN,” meaning no distribution to foreign citizens.
In a Justice Department statement, they provided the following timeline of events surrounding Awwad’s treason:
Based on joint investigation, an FBI undercover agent speaking in Arabic contacted Awwad by telephone on Sept. 18, 2014, and asked to meet him the following day. Without seeking additional information from the caller, Awwad agreed. The next day, Awwad met with the undercover FBI agent, who was posing as an Egyptian intelligence officer, in a park in Hampton, Virginia. During the meeting Awwad claimed it was his intention to utilize his position of trust with the U.S. Navy to obtain military technology for use by the Egyptian government, including but not limited to, the designs of the USS Gerald R. Ford nuclear aircraft carrier. Awwad agreed to conduct clandestine communications with the undercover FBI agent by email and unattributable telephones and to conduct “dead drops” in a concealed location in the park.
On Oct. 9, 2014, Awwad and the undercover FBI agent met at a hotel where Awwad described a detailed plan to circumvent U.S. Navy computer security by installing software on his restricted computer system that would enable him to copy documents without causing a security alert. At this time, Awwad also provided the undercover FBI agent four computer aided drawings of a U.S. nuclear aircraft carrier downloaded from the Navy Nuclear Propulsion Information system.
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