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DATE 2015-04-01

HANGOUT

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Key: Value:

Key: Value:

MESSAGE
DATE 2015-04-21
FROM Ruben Safir
SUBJECT Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] nukes in NYC

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jan/29/us-nuclear-scientist-secretly-taped-by-fbi-claiming-he-could-bomb-new-york

US nuclear scientist secretly taped by FBI claiming he could bomb New York

Los Alamos scientist Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni jailed for five years
after also offering to build nuclear weapons for Venezuela
Former Los Alamos National Laboratory nuclear physicist Pedro Leonardo
Mascheroni was sentenced to five years in prison after offering to help
develop a nuclear weapon for Venezuela.
Former Los Alamos National Laboratory nuclear physicist Pedro Leonardo
Mascheroni was sentenced to five years in prison after offering to help
develop a nuclear weapon for Venezuela. Photograph: Heather Clark/AP

Associated Press

Wednesday 28 January 2015 21.15 EST

A disgruntled, former Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist promised
to build 40 nuclear weapons for Venezuela and design a bomb targeted for
New York City in exchange for “money and power,” according to secret FBI
recordings released Wednesday.

In the recordings, Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni tells an agent posing as a
Venezuelan official that the bombs would prevent the United States from
invading the oil-rich nation and brags to his wife that the passing of
secrets would make him wealthy.

“I’m going to be the boss with money and power,” the naturalized US
citizen from Argentina is heard saying. “I’m not an American anymore.
This is it.”

Mascheroni said his New York bomb wouldn’t kill anyone but would disable
the city’s electrical system and help Venezuela become a nuclear
superpower. It was not known how realistic his New York bombing idea was.

But he suggested that once Venezuela obtained a bomb, the country should
explode it “to let the world know what we’ve got,” according to the
recordings.

The recordings were played Wednesday in US District Court in Albuquerque
before a federal judge sentenced Mascheroni, 79, to five years in prison
followed by three years of supervised release as part of a plea agreement.

Mascheroni and his wife, Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni, pleaded guilty in
2013 to offering to help develop a nuclear weapon for Venezuela through
dealings with an undercover FBI agent posing as a representative of the
South American country.

The US government did not allege Venezuela sought US secrets.

His wife received a year and a day in prison for conspiring with her
husband to sell nuclear secrets.
Despite the evidence and the plea agreement, federal prosecutor Fred
Federici said Pedro Mascheroni refused to admit he did anything wrong
and has tried to argue that he was the victim of the federal government
trying to trap him after being critical of US nuclear policy.

“He was no true hero,” Federici said. “He was simply a man who betrayed
his country.”

Speaking to a judge, Mascheroni was defiant and said that if his case
had gone to trial, a federal jury would have acquitted him.

He said the information he passed onto the agent was already available
online or simply was made up.

“I was basically selling used cars,” Mascheroni said during a long
tirade in federal court that had to be interrupted by US District Judge
William P. Johnson.

“What I was selling was completely science fiction.”

Before his indictment, Mascheroni was under investigation for about a
year. The FBI had seized computers, letters, photographs, books and
cellphones from the couple’s Los Alamos home.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Mascheroni said he believed
the US government was wrongly targeting him as a spy and denied the
accusations.

The scientist said he approached Venezuela after the United States
rejected his theories that a hydrogen-fluoride laser could produce
nuclear energy.

Mascheroni worked in the nuclear weapons design division at the Los
Alamos lab from 1979 until he was laid off in 1988.

His wife, a technical writer, worked there between 1981 and 2010.

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