Indiana Man Charged With Trying To Sell Secrets To Iraq

Indictment: Man Offered To Get U.S. Intelligence Agents' Names

A Greenfield man has been indicted on accusations he tried to sell the names of U.S. intelligence operatives to Iraq before the 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.

Shaaban Hafiz Ahmad Ali Shaaban, a 52-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, was arrested Thursday after an investigation of more than a year by the FBI and other agencies, U.S. Attorney Susan W. Brooks said.

Shaaban Hafiz Ahmad Ali Shaaban

Shaaban, also known as Shaaban Shaaban Hafed and Joe H. Brown, is suspected of going to Iraq in 2002 and making a deal to sell the names. He isn't accused of providing the information or receiving money for it, Brooks told RTV6's Linda Allen.

The allegations focus on events that are alleged to have occurred before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.

"Agreeing to provide names of United States operatives to Iraq in the months immediately preceding the war are very serious charges that go to the heart of the nation's security," Brooks said in a news release.

Information on whether investigators believe he was able to provide those names wasn't immediately available.

Shaaban, according to the indictment, went to Baghdad in late 2002 and agreed to obtain -- from a third party in another country -- the names of U.S. intelligence opeartives working in Iraq and sell them to Saddam Hussein's intelligence service for $3 million.

The indictment alleges that Shaaban began his trip to Iraq on or about Oct. 26, 2002, flying from Chicago to Paris to Damascus, Syria. He allegedly went to Iraq from Syria.

The United States at the time prohibited its citizens, with few exceptions, from visiting Iraq.

While in Iraq in November 2002, Shaaban allegedly offered to sell to Iraqi intelligence officers the names of about 60 operatives working with the United States who either were in or would be entering Iraq, according to the indictment. He named a price of $5 million and said he would get the names from a third party, the indictment alleges.

Details on how Shaaban allegedly planned to get the names from the third party weren't immediately available.

The indictment alleges that the Iraqi officers agreed to a fee of $3 million and required that Shaaban provide a sample of the information before payment.

The indictment also alleges that Shaaban:

  • Sought Iraqi support to establish a TV station in the United States that would broadcast pro-Iraqi news
  • Sought an arrangement in which he would be paid a fee by Iraq to organize volunteers to act as human shields to protect Iraqi infrastructure during the 2003 war
  • Broadcast messages of support for the Iraqi government on Iraqi media stations, advocating support for Iraq and encouraging others to resist the United States
  • The government has charged Shaaban with conspiracy; acting as a foreign agent without notification; violations of Iraqi sanctions under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act; unlawful procurement of an identification document; and unlawful procurement of naturalization.

    Investigators believe Shaaban became a U.S. citizen illegally by lying about his identity during the naturalization process, Allen reported.

    Shabaan, who authorities said worked at some point as a truck driver in the United States, was being held Thursday in the Marion County Jail, Allen reported.

    Brooks said Shaaban is believed to have more than 12 aliases. Investigators believe he is from Jordan, but he also has documentation of Lebanese descent, Brooks said.

    A pretrial court date has been set for next week. A trial has been scheduled to begin April 25.

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