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Analyst Charged With Passing Secret Info

Associated Press | May 4, 2005
By MARK SHERMAN

WASHINGTON - The FBI arrested a Pentagon analyst Wednesday on charges that he illegally passed classified information about potential attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq to employees of a pro-Israel group.

Larry Franklin, 58, of Kearneysville, W. Va., turned himself in Wednesday morning, FBI spokeswoman Debra Weierman said. He was scheduled to make an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Virginia later Wednesday, Weierman said.

Franklin, who specialized on Iran and Middle Eastern affairs, allegedly gave the information to two people not entitled to receive it at a luncheon meeting at a restaurant in Arlington, Va., in June 2003, the Justice Department said in a statement. The people at the lunch were employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a law enforcement official said on condition of anonymity because they are not identified in court papers.

FBI agents twice searched AIPAC offices as part of the investigation about whether Israel improperly obtained classified U.S. information on Iran. They also have interviewed two AIPAC employees about whether Franklin gave them classified information that wound up in Israel's hands.

AIPAC said it gave the FBI files related to those same two employees, who previously were identified - Steve Rosen, the director of research, and Keith Weissman, deputy director of foreign policy issues.

Neither still works for the group.

AIPAC declined to comment Wednesday.

It was not immediately clear how the information related to Iran.

 

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