Former UN Weapons Inspector Claims FBI Probe into Alleged Spying for Israel
Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter said Friday he had been under FBI investigation for over three years on suspicion of spying for Israel, reported the Associated Press.
The FBI had no comment when contacted by the agency.
Ritter, a former US Marines intelligence officer, mentioned the spying allegations during a question-and-answer session following Wednesday's screening of his new documentary on the UN Special Commission, known as UNSCOM, which was created after the 1991 Gulf War to destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
"I was withdrawn from Iraq in January 1998 at the behest of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which was calling me an Israeli spy,” Ritter said.
"It is an investigation that is ongoing to this day."
He said his most recent meetings with representatives of the FBI and the US Attorney General's office were in June and lasted a total of six hours.
Ritter, who resigned from UNSCOM in August 1998 after seven years as a weapons inspector, said he did cooperate with Israel as part of his job, and with the knowledge of his bosses, AP quoted him as saying.
According to the 90-minute documentary, In Shifting Sands: The Truth About UNSCOM and the Disarming of Iraq, former UNSCOM chief inspector Rolf Ekeus wrote to 60 countries in 1991 asking for information about Iraq's weapons programs and initially got one response - from the United States.
Ritter said Israel also started cooperating in early 1994 and provided a significant amount of information to UNSCOM.
In early 1996, UNSCOM started using sophisticated equipment in Iraq to monitor radio frequencies to try to determine what the Iraqis might be concealing about their chemical and biological weapons programs and their long-range missile program, Ritter said in his documentary last week.
"There was certain information that was encrypted," he said.
"We had to go to member states to have it processed and then have the information passed back to us."
"The United States was assiduous in refusing to feed that information back to UNSCOM. Great Britain did a better job, and Israel was magnificent," Ritter said.
In the documentary, Ritter repeated his charge that the United States used UNSCOM to spy on Iraq.
He also accused the United States of manipulating UNSCOM to provoke a confrontation with Saddam Hussein as a pretext for US airstrikes on Iraq.
Ritter said the FBI also brought him in for questioning on several occasions in connection with the documentary.
"I've been fully cooperative. Indeed, my posture with the FBI about this film has been one of 100 percent disclosure on my part," he said - Albawaba.com
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