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“US Citizen” arrested in Israeli nuke spy case

April 23, 2008

If I told you 24-hours ago this was going on, would you have called me, “antisemite?”

U.S. authorities arrested an American engineer on Tuesday on suspicion of giving secrets on nuclear weapons, fighter jets and air defense missiles to Israel during the 1980s, the Justice Department said.

Ben-Ami Kadish, 84, acknowledged his spying in FBI interviews and said he acted out of a belief that he was helping Israel, court papers said.

He was accused of reporting to an Israeli government handler who also dealt with Jonathan Jay Pollard, an American citizen serving a life term on a 1985 charge of spying for Israel.

Kadish’s arrest is a sign the Pollard scandal, which remains an irritant in the close U.S. alliance with Israel, may have spread wider than was previously acknowledged. Kadish was arrested in New Jersey and was scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon at U.S. District Court in New York City, authorities said.

“We will be informing the Israelis of this action,” State Department spokesman Tom Casey said. “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.”

Kadish’s lawyer, Bruce Goldstein, did not immediately return a call for comment.

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