The Feds have arrested a man in LA who worked at a nuclear power plant in Arizona, quite his job, and went to Iran. Once there, he downloaded the floor plan of the facility. Here’s most of the AP story, and please stay with me:
PHOENIX – A former engineer at the nation’s largest nuclear power plant has been charged with taking computer access codes and software to Iran and using it to download details of plant control rooms and reactors, authorities said.
The FBI said there’s no indication the plant employee training software had any terrorist connections.
Mohammad Alavi, who worked at the triple-reactor Palo Verde power plant west of Phoenix, was arrested April 9 at Los Angeles International Airport when he arrived on a flight from Iran, authorities said.
Alavi, 49, is a U.S. citizen and denies any wrongdoing, said his attorney, Milagros Cisneros of the Federal Defender’s Office in Phoenix.
He is charged with a single count of violating a trade embargo that prohibits Americans from exporting goods and services to Iran. If convicted, he would face up to 21 months in prison.
According to court records, the software is used only for training plant employees, but allowed users access to details on the Palo Verde control rooms and the plant layout. In October, authorities alleged, the software was used to download training materials from Tehran, using a Palo Verde user identification.
The FBI said there was no evidence to suggest the software access was linked to the Iranian government, which has clashed with the West over attempts to develop its own nuclear program.
“The investigation has not led us to believe this information was taken for the purpose of being used by a foreign government or terrorists to attack us,” said Deborah McCarley, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Phoenix.
What gets me, once again, is the FBI’s rush to non-judgment. First, no evidence that there’s any connection to the Islamic Republic. Second, no reason to think that the data might be used to attack us.
Riiiight. Internet use in Iran is dangerous; the regime monitors and filters it. You can get tortured for going to sites of which the regime disapproves. So this guy got the floor plan for our biggest nuclear reactor. Why would he want THAT?
Maybe so a sleeper cell could go blow it up? Why else? Do tell, FBI. You’re the same folks who were quick to tell us that an Egyptian shooting people standing in line at LAX to checkin with El Al certainly wasn’t a terrorist, aren’t you?
Can’t the Bureau just do its work and let us know when they’ve finished? Good grief.