A US citizen has been charged with providing nuclear and other military secrets to Israel during the 1980s, US authorities announced Tuesday in New York, reported the dpa.
The US Justice Department alleges that Ben-Ami Kadish, 84, conspired to pass along classified documents to an Israeli official and acted as an agent of the Israeli government.
Kadish, a mechanical engineer, allegedly provided the Israelis with information about nuclear weaponry, a modified version of an F- 15 fighter jet and the Patriot missile-defence system.
Kadish, while working from 1979-1985 at the US Army's Armament Research, Development and Engineering Centre in Dover, New Jersey, was able to access the documents at the facility's library, the justice department said.
Kadish removed the documents from the library and took them to his home, where an official from the Israeli consulate in Manhattan would meet Kadish and photograph the documents in his basement, the department said.
The justice department did not name the Israeli official, who worked as the consul for science affairs at the consulate from 1980 to 1985 and directed Kadish's spying activities.
The State Department said that Kadish's case was tied to that of Jonathan Pollard, a US naval analyst arrested in 1985 and sentenced to life in prison for passing secrets to the Israeli government.
Deputy spokesman Tom Casey said the United States intends to raise the issue with the Israeli government.
"Twenty-plus years ago during the Pollard case we noted that this was not the kind of behavior we would expect from friends and allies, and that would remain the case today," Casey said.
Kadish appeared in court Tuesday facing four counts, including conspiracy to disclose US national defence documents, acting as an agent of the Israeli government, hindering communication to a law enforcement officer, and making false statements.
He was released after posting bail of 300,000 dollars.
The justice department said that on March 8, Kadish spoke with his Israeli handler, who instructed Kadish to lie to federal authorities. The following day during an interrogation, Kadish denied having a phone conversation with the Israeli, the department said.