Wednesday, August 9

Saudi Paper Claims US Sailor Spied for Israel

US Navy Submariner Ariel Weinmann has been held in a brig for four months already. The mystery surrounding his case was noted in a recent Maritime Monday. Now we are starting to learn some of the details.

The news is now reporting that Weinmann was spying for Russia:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A sailor facing espionage and desertion charges has been held at a Norfolk, Virginia, brig since March, the U.S. Navy said Wednesday.

Ariel Weinmann, 21, is suspected of having worked on behalf of Russia, said military sources close to the case. - CNN

This would explain why he has been held 'without charges' for four months. Besides the desertion, here is a tell-tale sign that he was up to no good:

The fire control technician third class, assigned to the submarine USS Albuquerque, attempted on three occasions to pass classified information to foreign agents, according to the charges against him.

Those times include March 2005 in Bahrain; October 2005 in Vienna, Austria; and March 2006 in Mexico City, Mexico, according to the charges.

People join the navy to see the world. I would call international travel like that suspicious and it probably set off all sorts of alarms once he went A.W.O.L.

A Saudi newspaper appears to have different sources:

A US Navy sailor, Ariel J. Weinmann, is suspected of spying for Israel and has been held in prison for four months, according to an article published Monday in the Saudi daily Al-Watan. It reported that Weinmann is being held at a military base in Virginia on suspicion of espionage and desertion.

According to the navy, Weinmann was apprehended on March 26 "after it was learned that he had been listed as a deserter by his command." Though initial information released by the navy makes no mention of it, Al-Watan reported that he was returning from an undisclosed "foreign country." American sources close to the Defense Department told Al-Watan that Israel was the country in question. - JPost

Did the Saudi paper have a bad source or did they just change the country to Israel as part of the propaganda war against Israel? Looking at all the anti-Israel bias lately, propaganda has to be a possible motive for the details in the story. (The newspapers covering the Israel angle, are quoting this one paper.)

So far the Navy has not released information on the country he was spying for. This Navy Times has in their story posted today:

The Navy has not said which nation or nations are involved. A story in Wednesday’s Jerusalem Post alleged that one of the countries involved is Israel. A Navy official, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the charges, said Wednesday that it is “definitely not Israel.” - Navy Times

Lets see who has to issue corrections once the real details are released. Then again, who reads those.

The stories linking Israel to the story are also mentioning convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, who, despite the efforts to release him, continues to serve out his sentence in a US jail. (as he should.) He is probably mentioned to point out that Israel has already been proven to spy against the US. The big question is, what kind of threat to the US is Russia?

Sources: Navy sailor suspected of spying for Russia - CNN
Report: US sailor spied for Israel - J Post
Sailor charged with espionage - Navy Times

Jonathan Pollard Was No Jewish Patriot - Eric Margolis

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