Feds: Navy engineer tried to steal schematics for new carrier class and give them to Egypt

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

The USS Gerald R. Ford is christened during a ceremony Nov. 9, 2013, at Huntington-Ingalls Industries’ Newport News shipyard in Virginia. The Gerald Ford is the first of a new class of aircraft carrier intended to replace Nimitz-class carriers. – U.S. Navy

I’ll give you three guesses what the religion of the engineer is, but you’ll only need one. That’s right… the religion of pieces. Gee, I’m shocked! Who would have thought someone with a name like Mostafa Ahmed Awwad might be a security risk? Not the American Navy… no-siree.

So, a Naval engineer attempts to hand over schematics for our latest aircraft carrier and technical data to an FBI agent posing as an Egyptian intelligence officer and the penalty is only a maximum of 20 years on each count? Isn’t this treason? Or has that now been redefined as well? Dead drops, wearing a pinhole camera to photograph classified material and dealing with foreign intelligence officers adds up to being a spy. And, holy crap! It gets worse. He wanted to discuss with that intelligence officer where to strike that carrier with a missile to sink it. Did you hear about this in the news? Nope – crickets. Nothing to see here – yet. This guy worked in nuclear engineering and planning. His security clearance gave him access to information on Naval nuclear propulsion systems. Tick, fricking, tock people.

From Stars and Stripes:

Though it was unclear from the documents how investigators first began to track Awwad, a search warrant affidavit made public Friday says that an FBI undercover agent first called him on the afternoon of Sept. 18.

The FBI agent, “posing as an Egyptian intelligence officer,” identified himself as “Yousef,” from Washington, D.C., according to the affidavit by FBI Special Agent James Blitzer. The undercover agent then “asked Awwad to meet him at a public park in Hampton” the next day.

Awwad agreed, and they met at 7:30 a.m. the next morning at Sandy Bottom Nature Park, off Big Bethel Road and Hampton Roads Center Parkway. During the 90-minute meeting, the affidavit says, Awwad told “Yousef” he intended “to utilize his position of trust with the U.S. Navy to obtain military technology for use by the Egyptian government.”

“Awwad discussed various aspects of U.S. radar technology, U.S. nuclear aircraft carriers, ballistic nuclear submarines, and nuclear attack submarines in an attempt to describe his ability to obtain information for the Egyptian government,” the FBI affidavit says.

Awwad told “Yousef” he would copy the Ford’s designs onto CDs and would conduct “clandestine communications with Yousef by email and unattributable telephones.” Awwad said he would use “dead drops” — of the CDs and return payments — at concealed locations at Sandy Bottom, Blitzer’s affidavit says.

On Oct 9, the pair met at a local hotel at 5:30 p.m., the affidavit says. In advance of that meeting, Awwad asked the undercover agent to bring a laptop computer, thumb drives, an external hard drive and a prepaid phone.

“Awwad suggested an elaborate safety system which included several one-time use electronic mail boxes with phantom names,” the affidavit says. The plan included “bugs” on restricted computer systems “that will enable him to copy documents without causing a security alert,” the affidavit said.

“Awwad provided Yousef with four computer aided design (CAD) drawings of a U.S. aircraft carrier which he claimed are Top Secret,” the affidavit says. “Awwad discussed where to strike the vessel with a missile in order to sink it.”

Also according to the affidavit, Awwad said he was building a milling machine to replicate some of the American technology and asked the agent for $1,500 for a camera to “to photograph restricted material” at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

Later, the affidavit says, the FBI determined the drawings were indeed of the Navy’s Gerald R. Ford carrier.


At about 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 23, the affidavit says, Awwad dropped a hard drive and two passport pictures at a “dead drop” container at the nature park. The container was in a hole in a ground along a secluded hiking trail, and covered by “camouflage netting and vegetation.” Awwad took $3,000 in cash that “Yousef” had left for him.

At 10:37 a.m., the affidavit says, Awwad texted Yousef: “All done. You can get it now.”

On Nov. 28, the affidavit says, Awwad was seen entering his office at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, holding a white tube, then took out design schematics — each about 10-feet long. He put them on the floor and photographed them with “what appeared to be a pocket camera.”

“The schematics appeared to be various profiles of an aircraft carrier,” the affidavit says, adding that Awwad was looking at the drawings and taking pictures for about 45 minutes. After being out of view for about two minutes, he “packed up his items” and “departed the office,” the affidavit says.

It was unclear from the affidavit what the schematics represented or what part of the carrier they depicted.

The affidavit was for a search warrant for Awwad’s home in York County, two of his vehicles — a 2001 BMW and a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer — and a storage unit on J.Clyde Morris Blvd. in Newport News. It was not immediately clear what was seized in those searches.

The Ford aircraft carrier is worth $13 billion. It has a dozen new technologies on board, including a dual band radar, new systems for launching and recovering aircraft, and a nuclear propulsion system that produces a nearly three-fold increase in power generation compared to the current Nimitz-class carriers. The aircraft carrier will be delivered in 2016 and will be the most advanced of its kind. Two more Ford Class carriers are in production: the John F. Kennedy and the Enterprise.

Awwad was born in Saudi Arabia and married his wife in Cairo. In 2007, he began applying for US citizenship. One wonders how well he was vetted for his security clearance. Not good enough evidently. The nuclear power systems on board aircraft carriers are considered among the most closely guarded sections of the ship – they are supposedly under strict surveillance and closely guarded. Awwad had access to information concerning the design, development, maintenance and repair of propulsion plants on board nuclear-powered ships. What could go wrong? Everything. This one was caught – not every one will be.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Norfolk field office and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in cooperation with the Department of the Navy. I’m glad they caught him, but it is disturbing he was there to begin with. Someone might want to find out why our good friends the Egyptians wanted those schematics supposedly and why they were asking how a missile could sink our aircraft carrier. Awwad evidently thought it was of great interest to Egypt, whether Egypt really is involved somehow is worth finding out. There are other details we aren’t privy to on this, bet on it. And I wonder, was Obama’s buds the Muslim Brotherhood involved? Just a thought.


Book Review: Ebola – Understanding & Preparing for an Outbreak

Purchase at Amazon.com

Contrary to the media blackout out there, Ebola is still here in the US and very much a threat. According to Sharyl Attkisson, over 1400 people in the US are currently being monitored for the deadly disease. And every once in a while, from a foreign news source, you get a glimpse of what is really going on… you know, like someone bleeding out in a hair salon in New York. The monitoring is going on in 44 states and thanks to Obama’s new Ebola Czar, Americans don’t have any idea about the threat they face.

One author has written a book on how to get ready for the inevitable outbreak. “Ebola: Understanding and Preparing for an Outbreak,” by Alex Smith, is a must have for your survival shelf. It’s an easy read and not long and drawn out.

Smith covers most of the important subjects: symptoms, transmission, treatment, the history of the virus, the current outbreak, how to prepare, what to have on hand, measures to take if the worst is realized (quarantines, isolation rooms, cleaning procedures, etc.) and more. In fact, when the book arrived, my daughter took it first, thus the delayed review. It then went to hubby and then to me. I don’t know anyone out there that is not spooked by Ebola. One of my all time favorite books is The Stand by Stephen King. Ebola is eerily reminiscent of that scenario in so many ways.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

Airborne droplets (Not  Confirmed by Authorities):
The CDC makes no mention of transmission through airborne droplets in humans.  Because of the severity of the current outbreak, however, transmission through airborne droplets seems like a possible explanation.  Note that the author says airborne droplets and not simply airborne.  There is a huge difference.  Airborne implies that a disease can be spread through the inhalation of tiny, dry particles that remained suspended in the air for long a period of time.  These particles could also theoretically be transferred through air currents.  Ebola is not airborne in this sense.  The rate of infection is much too low.  If Ebola was truly airborne, it should spread at a rate similar to tuberculosis, chickenpox or measles.  One person with measles, on average, infects 12 to 18 people.  The current Ebola outbreak appears to spread, on average, to one to two people.  This value is known as the Basic Reproductive Number, R(0).  The following is a chart of the Basic Reproductive Numbers for various diseases.

ebola outbreak book review

Airborne droplets, however, is a different story.  Airborne droplets are relatively large (when compared to the dry particles that are suspended in the air by an airborne disease), wet particles, propelled through the air by way of coughing, sneezing or violent vomiting, that land on walls, floors, or other people.  It is entirely possible that Ebola is spread via airborne droplets.  The CDC still denies this.  The WHO downplays the probability.  Other experts, especially those who are independent of governmental organizations, are not as quick to dismiss this.

Despite CDC claims that droplet transmission is not possible, it has been shown that VHFs have an infectious dose of 1 to 10 How to Survive Ebolaorganisms by airborne droplets in non-human primates.

1.    Source:  Franz, D. R., Jahrling, P. B., Friedlander, A. M., McClain, D. J., Hoover, D. L., Bryne, W. R., Pavlin, J. A., Christopher, G. W., & Eitzen, E. M. (1997).  Clinical recognition and management of patients exposed to biological warfare agents.  Jama, 278(5), 399-411.)

Additionally, laboratories have been able to demonstrate that primates exposed to airborne droplets from pigs have become infected.
1.    Source:  Twenhafel, N. A., Mattix, M. E., Johnson, J. C., Robinson, C. G., Pratt, W. D., Cashman, K. A., Wahl-Jensen, V., Terry, C., Olinger, G. G., Hensley, L. E., & Honko, A. N. (2012).  Pathology of experimental aerosol Zaire ebolavirus infection in rhesus macaques.  Veterinary Pathology Online, 0300985812469636.
2.    Source:  Mwanatambwe, M., Yamada, N., Arai, S., Shimizu-Suganuma, M., Shichinohe, K., & Asano, G. (2001).  Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF): mechanism of transmission and pathogenicity.  Journal of Nippon Medical School.68 (5), 370-375.
3.    Source:  Plague.  (2004). In R. G. Darling, & J. B. Woods (Eds.), USAMRIID’s Medical Management of Biological Casualties Handbook (5th ed., pp. 40-44).  Fort Detrick M.D.: USAMRIID.
4.    Source:  Reed, D. S., Lackemeyer, M. G., Garza, N. L., Sullivan, L. J., & Nichols, D. K. (2011).  Aerosol exposure to Zaire ebolavirus in three nonhuman primate species: differences in disease course and clinical pathology.  Microbes and Infection, 13(11), 930-936.
5.    Source:  Feigin, R. D. (Ed.).  (2004). Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases (5th Ed.).  Philadelphia, USA: Elsevier, Inc.
•    Aerosol Transmissibles (Not Confirmed by Authorities):  According to The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP),

“We believe there is scientific and epidemiologic evidence that Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted via infectious aerosol How to Survive Ebolaparticles both near and at a distance from infected patients, which means that healthcare workers should be wearing respirators, not facemasks.”  They continue, “Modern research, using more sensitive instruments and analytic methods, has shown that aerosols emitted from the respiratory tract contain a wide distribution of particle sizes—including many that are small enough to be inhaled.  Thus, both small and large particles will be present near an infectious person.  The chance of large droplets reaching the facial mucous membranes is quite small, as the nasal openings are small and shielded by their external and internal structure.  Although close contact may permit large-droplet exposure, it also maximizes the possibility of aerosol inhalation.  As noted by early aerobiologists, liquid in a spray aerosol, such as that generated during coughing or sneezing, will quickly evaporate, which increases the concentration of small particles in the aerosol.  Because evaporation occurs in milliseconds, many of these particles are likely to be found near the infectious person.  The current paradigm also assumes that only “small” particles (less than 5 micrometers [mcm]) can be inhaled and deposited in the respiratory tract.  This is not true.  Particles as large as 100 mcm (and perhaps even larger) can be inhaled into the mouth and nose.  Larger particles are deposited in the nasal passages, pharynx, and upper regions of the lungs, while smaller particles are more likely to deposit in the lower, alveolar regions.  And for many pathogens, infection is possible regardless of the particle size or deposition site.”

CIDRAP concludes:
“To summarize, for the following reasons we believe that Ebola could be an opportunistic aerosol-transmissible disease requiring adequate respiratory protection:
o    Patients and procedures generate aerosols, and Ebola virus remains viable in aerosols for up to 90 minutes.
o    All sizes of aerosol particles are easily inhaled both near to and far from the patient.
o    Crowding, limited air exchange, and close interactions with patients all contribute to the probability that healthcare workers will be exposed to high concentrations of very toxic infectious aerosols.
o    Ebola targets immune response cells found in all epithelial tissues, including in the respiratory and gastrointestinal system.
o    Experimental data support aerosols as a mode of disease transmission in non-human primates.”
The author tends towards CIDRAP’s stance.  Infection through Direct Contact is certain, and airborne droplet seems likely, but aerosol transmissibles for up to 90 minutes appears possible as well.
The complete CIDRAP article (with multiple sourced studies) can be found here (Click Here):

There is an endless stream of news out there that is distracting us from topics such as Ebola. But it did not go away or magically disappear. In fact, it is raging hotter than ever in Africa and there are no controls to stop it coming into this country and spreading. Do the math. Each of us should get a copy of this book and prepare just in case. It is better to over prepare than to be found wanting when an emergency comes knocking. Especially one that kills quickly and efficiently the way this one does.

I have heard nothing more on a vaccine or the efforts to contain Ebola here in the states. The silence is terrifying and deafening. When your government mandates a media blackout on something this serious, it is time to get worried. Start your preparations with this book: “Ebola: Understanding and Preparing for an Outbreak,” by Alex Smith. It’s an investment and a read that is a must. Highly recommended.


Anti-Police Bias Infects Fox News

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

The grand jury in the Eric Garner case heard nine weeks’ of evidence before declining to indict the police officer. Many in the media didn’t wait nine minutes before finding the officer guilty of a crime. This rush to judgment was evident across the political spectrum, in the liberal and conservative media.

With “sit-ins, die-ins, and blockades” making news around the country against “police violence,” it apparently has become tempting for some conservatives to take the side of the black criminal and look stylish. They must figure this is a way of getting accolades from the liberals.

But here are the facts about the grand jury, as disclosed by Stephen J. Rooney, a justice on the Richmond County Supreme Court in New York:

  • In addition to sitting for nine weeks, it heard from a total 50 witnesses. Twenty-two of the witnesses were civilians, while the remaining witnesses were police officers, emergency medical personnel and doctors.
  • Sixty exhibits were admitted into evidence, including four videos, records regarding the New York Police Department (NYPD) policies and procedures, medical records pertaining to the treatment of the deceased, photographs of the scene, autopsy photographs and records pertaining to NYPD training.
  • The grand jury was instructed on relevant principles of law, including Penal Law § 35.30 regarding a police officer’s use of physical force in making an arrest.

The grand jury is one of our most precious institutions of self-governance. It is designed to screen criminal indictments before people are charged.

It’s true that the commentators did not have access to all of this evidence. But they could have taken some time to review the video from a police officer’s point of view, and to review police procedures. Instead, conservatives in the media jumped to conclusions, showing how the narrative of the liberal media was already dominating their thinking.

Interestingly, however, former NBA basketball star Charles Barkley had it right even before the grand jury decision was handed down. He watched the video and told CNN, “…when the cops are trying to arrest you, if you fight back, things go wrong. I don’t think they were trying to kill Mr. Garner. He was a big man and they tried to get him down.”

For some reason, our prominent white conservatives couldn’t see the case as clearly as this black man.

Fox News commentators took sides against the police officer. Andrew Napolitano, the Fox News judicial analyst, said, “This ought to have been an indictment and it ought to have been an indictment for some form of manslaughter. It’s not first degree murder. It’s not second degree murder. But it’s certainly reckless manslaughter.” Napolitano is a judge who should know better. He knows—or should know—that the grand jury looked at all of the evidence, including the fact that the supervising police officer on the scene was black.

One of the most ridiculous critiques of the outcome was offered by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sean Hannity of Fox News. They implied that Garner was being arrested for not paying taxes on cigarettes. He was selling untaxed cigarettes, but that was not the main reason he got into trouble. In fact, shop owners called the police for help in getting him out of the neighborhood. He had been committing crimes since the age of 16.

Selling untaxed cigarettes sounds like a petty crime. But anyone who reviews the evidence knows that crime rates have been going down in New York City precisely because the police have been enforcing the law at all levels, from petty crimes on up to murder. The police are not supposed to decide which laws to enforce; they are supposed to enforce the law, period.

We are accustomed to an anti-police bias from the liberals. But Glenn Beck said, “How this cop did not go to jail and was not held responsible is beyond me.” Perhaps he should have taken some time to look at the video more closely. On first glance, it does look shocking. But it’s not true that the “chokehold” was in fact a “chokehold.” Officer Daniel Pantaleo used a headlock, which is a textbook takedown maneuver. Garner had a series of health problems contributing to the unfortunate outcome. Second, even the video shows Garner resisting arrest, saying “It stops today.” Third, it is clear the officer asked for back-up and didn’t immediately take down the suspect. Garner was given every opportunity to be arrested and taken into custody peacefully.

Radio host Michael Savage was the worst offender, in terms of taking sides against the police. He called the police officers “jackals” and “cowards,” and falsely called Garner’s death “the chokehold murder of an innocent black man.” On his radio show on Thursday, he said, “Tell me what happened when the guy is saying he can’t breathe? Did they pull back? Did the jackals pull back? Did the big cop Daniel Pantaleo with the big muscular tattooed arms…release his chokehold?”

Again, it wasn’t a chokehold. What’s more, criminals always complain about police brutality, alleging broken arms or legs, or not being able to breathe, when they are resisting arrest. He clearly could breathe since he was griping about his treatment. A real chokehold would have prevented him from saying anything.

Charles Krauthammer said, “From looking at the video, the grand jury’s decision here is totally incomprehensible. It looks as if at least they might have indicted him on something like involuntary manslaughter at the very least.” But the video has to be interpreted from the point of view of police procedures and the law. That’s what the grand jury did.

Megyn Kelly of Fox News, who is a lawyer, said about the case, “It was a slap on the wrist kind of crime, for which he effectively received the death penalty…” The term “death penalty” implies a deliberate effort to take his life.

Don’t these conservative commentators realize they are inflaming an already tense situation and making things worse? They are accusing the police of serious crimes and putting the lives of officers in danger as a result.

Whatever happened to the Fox News Channel that was supposed to be a counter to the liberal diatribes we usually get from MSNBC?

Those of us who have been fighting liberal media bias for decades are extremely disappointed with the conduct of the conservative media we have worked so many years to support. This alternative source of news and information is supposed to help us make informed decisions about issues of national and international importance. Instead, we are being treated to conservative back-up for liberal opinions designed to make police into villains and bad guys.

This is just what President Obama and the “progressives” are counting on, as they proceed to put local police under federal jurisdiction, monitoring, and control. Six years after Obama was first elected, it is apparent that our leading light conservative commentators still don’t understand how the “progressive” agenda is moving forward—now with their support.