By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
The USS Gerald R. Ford is christened during a ceremony Nov. 9, 2013, at Huntington-Ingalls Industries’ Newport News shipyard in Virginia. The Gerald Ford is the first of a new class of aircraft carrier intended to replace Nimitz-class carriers. – U.S. Navy
I’ll give you three guesses what the religion of the engineer is, but you’ll only need one. That’s right… the religion of pieces. Gee, I’m shocked! Who would have thought someone with a name like Mostafa Ahmed Awwad might be a security risk? Not the American Navy… no-siree.
So, a Naval engineer attempts to hand over schematics for our latest aircraft carrier and technical data to an FBI agent posing as an Egyptian intelligence officer and the penalty is only a maximum of 20 years on each count? Isn’t this treason? Or has that now been redefined as well? Dead drops, wearing a pinhole camera to photograph classified material and dealing with foreign intelligence officers adds up to being a spy. And, holy crap! It gets worse. He wanted to discuss with that intelligence officer where to strike that carrier with a missile to sink it. Did you hear about this in the news? Nope – crickets. Nothing to see here – yet. This guy worked in nuclear engineering and planning. His security clearance gave him access to information on Naval nuclear propulsion systems. Tick, fricking, tock people.
From Stars and Stripes:
Though it was unclear from the documents how investigators first began to track Awwad, a search warrant affidavit made public Friday says that an FBI undercover agent first called him on the afternoon of Sept. 18.
The FBI agent, “posing as an Egyptian intelligence officer,” identified himself as “Yousef,” from Washington, D.C., according to the affidavit by FBI Special Agent James Blitzer. The undercover agent then “asked Awwad to meet him at a public park in Hampton” the next day.
Awwad agreed, and they met at 7:30 a.m. the next morning at Sandy Bottom Nature Park, off Big Bethel Road and Hampton Roads Center Parkway. During the 90-minute meeting, the affidavit says, Awwad told “Yousef” he intended “to utilize his position of trust with the U.S. Navy to obtain military technology for use by the Egyptian government.”
“Awwad discussed various aspects of U.S. radar technology, U.S. nuclear aircraft carriers, ballistic nuclear submarines, and nuclear attack submarines in an attempt to describe his ability to obtain information for the Egyptian government,” the FBI affidavit says.
Awwad told “Yousef” he would copy the Ford’s designs onto CDs and would conduct “clandestine communications with Yousef by email and unattributable telephones.” Awwad said he would use “dead drops” — of the CDs and return payments — at concealed locations at Sandy Bottom, Blitzer’s affidavit says.
On Oct 9, the pair met at a local hotel at 5:30 p.m., the affidavit says. In advance of that meeting, Awwad asked the undercover agent to bring a laptop computer, thumb drives, an external hard drive and a prepaid phone.
“Awwad suggested an elaborate safety system which included several one-time use electronic mail boxes with phantom names,” the affidavit says. The plan included “bugs” on restricted computer systems “that will enable him to copy documents without causing a security alert,” the affidavit said.