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Army engineer charged with passing secrets to Israel

NEW YORK — An 85-year-old former U.S. Army mechanical engineer was arrested Tuesday on charges he slipped classified documents about nuclear weapons to an employee of the Israeli Consulate who also received information from convicted Pentagon spy Jonathan Pollard, authorities announced.

Ben-ami Kadish was charged in U.S. District Court in Manhattan with four counts of conspiracy, including allegations that he disclosed U.S. national defense documents to Israel and acted as an agent of the Israeli government.

Prosecutors say Kadish, a U.S. citizen who worked at an Army base in New Jersey, took home classified documents for six years and let the Israeli photograph them in his basement. Those documents included information about nuclear weapons, a modified version of an F-15 fighter jet, and the U.S. Patriot missile air defense system.

Bruce Goldstein, a lawyer for Kadish, had no immediate comment. Calls requesting comment from the Israeli consulate in the U.S. were referred to Jerusalem, where Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Arye Mekel said: “We know nothing about it. We have nothing to say.”

A criminal complaint said Kadish confessed to FBI agents on Sunday that he had given the Israeli between 50 and 100 classified documents and accepted no cash in return, only small gifts and occasional dinners for him and his family.

Kadish worked at the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at the Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, N.J. On numerous occasions between 1979 and 1985, the agent provided Kadish with lists of U.S. national defense classified documents he was interested in, according to the complaint. Kadish worked at the base from 1963 through 1990.

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