Navy civilian engineer Mostafa Ahmed Awwad pleaded guilty to charges of attempted espionage in his failed attempt to provide schematics of the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Gerald Ford to Egypt intelligence. Navy’s USS Ford is set to be the most advanced aircraft carrier in the world once its construction is completed. The information that Awwad tried to pass on to Egypt contained Naval Nuclear Propulsion Information and should not be released to foreign persons.
Navy civilian engineer pleaded guilty to charges of espionage
Awwad pleaded guilty to criminal information charging him with attempted espionage, and his plea was accepted by U.S. District Court Judge Raymond A. Jackson of the Eastern District of Virginia. He will be sentence on September 21 and is facing the maximum penalty of life in prison.
“Awwad pleaded guilty to leveraging his position of trust within the Navy to share the schematics of the USS Gerald R. Ford nuclear aircraft carrier with what he believed to be a foreign government,” Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said in a statement.
Government will pursue anyone who abuse their access to critical information
Carlin highlighted the government’s tough stance against those who like Awwad will abuse their access to sensitive defense information. U.S. Attorney Dana Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia vowed to exercise the same vigilance.
“This office is committed to safeguarding our nation’s sensitive defense information, and we will bring to justice those who seek to steal it,” Boente said.
Carlin and Boente lauded the FBI special agents who have worked in order to establish credible proof against Awwad.
“Fortunately, the aggressive counterintelligence posture of the FBI and our interagency partners prevented the loss of billions of dollars in research costs and the exposure of potential vulnerabilities to our newest generation of nuclear aircraft carrier, “ said Assistant Director Randall C. Coleman of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division.
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