A Saudi- born American citizen was busted for disclosing information about Gerald R. Ford aircraft to an undercover FBI agent.
The naturalized American working for U.S. Navy got caught trying to deliver information about how to submerge the new Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier with a missile to an FBI agent passing for an Egyptian Intelligence spy.
Born in Saudi Arabia, the Yorktown individual was brought in by the authorities on Friday. The man became an U.S. citizen through a marriage performed in 2007 in Cairo.
He was accused of attempting to traffic the schematic plans of the carrier. The plans included technical information about the defense machinery.
A Federal Grand Jury indicted Awwad for his wrongdoings. Both FBI and Naval Criminal Investigative Service conducted the inquiry. The engineer is now in police custody after a first showing in the Norfolk, Virginia’s federal district court.
U.S.’ Attorney presented in a detailed manner the actions of the indicted in a press release.
As it results from the press document an FB agent pretending to be representing Egyptian Intelligence got from the man computer drawings of the aircraft, as well as suggestions on the places the carrier was vulnerable to armed attacks.
Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier is viewed by officials as a technological wonder. With an estimated cost of $13 billion the carrier will be able to hold 75 aircrafts and 4,660 staffers with its 100,000 tons.
As an employee at Nuclear Engineering and Planning Department at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, the man did not have permission to reveal information to citizens outside U.S. He was employed there just a few months earlier, in February 2014.
Little is known of how the authorities got first to be suspicious of Awwad. According to FBI’s affidavit the first contact between the covert agent and the indicted was in September 2014.
The agency’s affidavit seems to be taken out of a spy movie. Apparently, Awwad had clear intentions of disclosing information about U.S. military technology to Egypt.
The first meeting between the two was in Hampton, Virginia and the materials were exchanged using a hidden ground hole in a hiking area. The FBI’s document includes a description of at least ten technical sketches of the aircraft given by the indicted to the agent.
Huntington Ingalls Industries the constructor of the USS Ford did not make any public statements about the event passing this responsibility to U.S. Navy. The latter did not make any remarks so far either.