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Scientist Receives 13-Year Prison Term for Spying

A federal judge on Wednesday handed a 13-year prison term to a Maryland scientist who pleaded guilty to attempted espionage for seeking to give confidential data to a fake Israeli intelligence officer, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, Sept. 9, 2011).

Former NASA researcher Stewart Nozette said he is "paying for a fatal lack of judgment."

"I accept full responsibility," the scientist said in a statement to U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman.

Nozette last year said he had sought to sell to Israel highly sensitive details on satellites, threat detection technology, procedures for reacting to a major strike, signals intelligence data and significant components of U.S. protective plans. He was caught by an FBI undercover operation.

The scientist largely established his reputation as a contributor to the Reagan administration's "Star Wars" missile defense program. He also once carried a security clearance that allowed him access to "critical nuclear weapon design information," according to an earlier report (Associated Press/Politico, March 21).

 

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