Two former employees of a pro-Israel lobbying organization were indicted Thursday on charges they conspired to obtain and disclose classified U.S. defense information over a five-year period.
An indictment unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., names Steven Rosen, formerly the director of foreign policy issues for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and Keith Weissman, the organization's former senior Iran analyst.
The five-count indictment also spells out in greater detail the government's case against Pentagon analyst Lawrence A. Franklin, who already was facing charges he leaked classified military information to an Israeli official and the AIPAC employees.
Rosen and Weissman disclosed sensitive information as far back as 1999 on a variety of topics that included terrorist activities in Central Asia, the bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, al Qaeda and U.S. policy in Iran, the indictment said. Among their contacts were foreign government officials and reporters, the indictment said.
Franklin's relationship with the men dates to 2003, the indictment said.
Plato Cacheris, Franklin's lawyer, said he had been expecting additional charges. He said Franklin cooperated with investigators for three months in 2004.
Franklin faces a six-count indictment that charges he conspired to disclose national defense and classified information to people not entitled to receive it, including information about potential attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq. One count accuses him of conspiring to communicate the information to an agent and representative of a foreign government.
Franklin, a 58-year-old Air Force Reserve colonel who once worked for the Pentagon's No. 3 official, pleaded innocent to all counts in June at a hearing in federal court in Alexandria, Va.
AIPAC fired Rosen and Weissman in April.
Rosen, quoted in The New Yorker magazine last month, denied knowingly receiving classified information. A spokesman for his lawyer, Abbe Lowell, declined comment Thursday. John Nassikas, Weissman's lawyer, did not immediately provide comment.
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