Dual Loyalties

My opinion on the people who shape our world

Thursday, December 02, 2004

FBI raids offices of pro-Israel lobbying group -

FBI raids offices of pro-Israel lobbying group -: "FBI raids offices of pro-Israel lobbying group
12/2/2004 10:58:00 AM GMT

The AIPAC investigation is being handled by U.S. Attorney Paul McNulty.

The FBI searched documents and served subpoenas Wednesday at the offices of the major pro-Israel lobbying group as part of an investigation into whether Israel improperly obtained secret U.S. information on Iran and whether it had a high-level spy in the Pentagon.

After the search, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee said in a statement that it is cooperating "in order to get these false and baseless allegations put to rest fully and swiftly."

"As we have said from the beginning, AIPAC has done nothing wrong," the statement added.

The FBI previously raided AIPAC's offices on Aug. 27.

FBI officials have also questioned two AIPAC workers about whether a Defense Department analyst, Larry Franklin, passed secret information about Iran to Israel, which is concerned about the Islamic republic mainly because of its nuclear plans.

Franklin works on Iran and Middle East issues in Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's office and U.S. government sources say that he provided the papers to Israel through AIPAC.

AIPAC said that FBI agents on Wednesday asked for files linked to those same two interviewed employees, who were identified as Steve Rosen, the director of research, and Keith Weissman, deputy director of foreign policy issues.

The FBI has made copies of computer hard drives and files from both employees.

The influential lobbying organization also said: "We believe any court of law or grand jury will conclude that AIPAC employees have always acted legally, properly and appropriately".

In addition, the AIPAC statement said that subpoenas were served by the FBI demanding four top AIPAC officials to testify before the federal grand jury probing the case.

A source close to the investigation identified the four as AIPAC executive director Howard Kohr, managing director Richard Fishman, communications director Renee Rothstein and research director Rafi Danziger.

The FBI and Justice Department refused to comment.

The AIPAC investigation, which started in 2001, is being handled by U.S. Attorney Paul McNulty of Alexandria, Va. No charges have been issued yet.

Israel has denied spying on the United States, saying that talks between U.S. and Israeli officials are common and that the two nations share many secrets. The Jewish state also claimed that it has banned espionage in the United States since the scandal over Jonathan Pollard, an American convicted of spying for Israel in 1985."


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