Of­fi­cer said to have pro­vided sub se­crets to Rus­sian in­tel

The Washington Times Weekly - - From Page One - By Bill Gertz

Rus­sia ob­tained valu­able se­crets on U.S. Navy at­tack sub­marines from a tech­ni­cian fac­ing court-mar­tial this week on es­pi­onage and other charges, U.S. of­fi­cials said.

Navy Petty Of­fi­cer 3rd Class Ariel J. Wein­mann is ex­pected to plead guilty Dec. 4 to sev­eral of the charges, in­clud­ing es­pi­onage re­lated to the com­pro­mise, said his at­tor­ney, Phillip Stack­house.

U.S. de­fense of­fi­cials familiar with the case said Petty Of­fi­cer Wein­mann sup­plied Rus­sian intelligence with a man­ual la­beled “se­cret” that con­tained in­for­ma­tion about the nu­clear-pow­ered at­tack sub­ma­rine USS Albu- querque. He had worked as a fire con­trol tech­ni­cian on the sub­ma­rine be­fore de­sert­ing in July 2005.

The man­ual is con­sid­ered sen­si­tive be­cause it re­veals ca­pa­bil­i­ties of Los An­ge­les-class sub­marines, like the Al­bu­querque, that could al­low the Rus­sians to lo­cate and track the sub­marines, the of­fi­cials said.

“There’s a man­ual miss­ing, and he’s be­lieved to have pro­vided it to the Rus­sians,” one of­fi­cial said.

Mr. Stack­house and Navy spokesman Ted Brown de­clined to com­ment on what in­for­ma­tion was com­pro­mised in the case.

Mr. Stack­house said in an in­ter­view that some doc­u­ments held by Petty Of­fi­cer Wein­mann could be dis­cussed or made pub- lic dur­ing the court-mar­tial, which with the penalty phase is ex­pected to last two days.

How­ever, most in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing the iden­tity of the for­eign gov­ern­ment in­volved, is likely to be kept se­cret, both he and Mr. Brown said.

The case is the sec­ond ma­jor com­pro­mise of sub­ma­rine se­crets for the Navy.

Of­fi­cials said a sec­ond dam­ag­ing sub­ma­rine spy­ing case in­volves Los An­ge­les de­fense con­trac­tor Chi Mak, who was charged in a fed­eral in­dict­ment with be­ing part of a spy ring that passed sen­si­tive weapons tech­nol­ogy to China, in­clud­ing data on the Navy’s new Vir­ginia-class at­tack sub­ma­rine.

Of­fi­cials familiar with the case said Mr. Mak gave Chi­nese mil­i­tary intelligence de­tails of the on­board elec­tri­cal sys­tems of the Vir­ginia-class sub­ma­rine that will help China de­tect and track the sub­marines. Mr. Mak has pleaded not guilty.

Court pa­pers in the Wein­mann case state that the sub­ma­rine tech­ni­cian pro­vided clas­si­fied de­fense data la­beled “se­cret” and “con­fi­den­tial” to a for­eign gov­ern­ment agent on March 19, 2006, in Mex­ico City, and in Au­gust 2005 and on Oct. 19, 2005, in Vi­enna, Aus­tria.

He also at­tempted to pass se­crets to a for­eign gov­ern­ment agent in Bahrain in March 2005.

Of­fi­cials said the sub­ma­rine man­ual was passed to the Rus­sians dur­ing the Au­gust meet­ing in Vi­enna, which is the ba­sis for the es­pi­onage charge.

The court pa­pers stated that he de­serted and stole the lap­top with se­crets on July 1, 2005, and smashed the hard drive on the com­puter in Vi­enna in March 2006.

In all, he is charged with six counts, in­clud­ing es­pi­onage, de­ser­tion, fail­ure to obey or­ders and lar­ceny. It is not known which counts will be dropped as part of the plea deal.

Petty Of­fi­cer Wein­mann was ar­rested at Dal­las-Fort Worth In­ter­na­tional Air­port on March 26 af­ter au­thor­i­ties found he was listed as a de­serter on a gov­ern­ment data­base.

He is be­ing held in the Navy brig at Nor­folk.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.