Skip to comments.Accused nuke engineer: I was showing off
Posted on 05/18/2007 10:04:25 AM PDT by Abathar
PHOENIX - A former nuclear engineer accused of taking software back to his native Iran told authorities he was only trying to show off for family and friends.
Mohammad Alavi, 49, also told FBI agents that he left his job at the nation's largest nuclear power plant and moved to Iran to be closer to relatives, according to records obtained by The Arizona Republic.
Alavi, who lived in the U.S. as a naturalized citizen for 30 years, is charged with violating a trade embargo with Iran, which carries a maximum penalty of 21 months in prison. Trial is set for July 3.
Alavi worked at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station west of Phoenix for 16 years, until he resigned in August and moved to Tehran.
The software he downloaded onto his personal laptop was part of an emergency-training package containing details of the plant's control rooms, reactors and designs. It is not classified, has no links to actual plant workings and can't be used to affect operations.
Employees were encouraged to download the software and work on it at home, according to officials with the Arizona Public Service Co., the Phoenix-based utility company that operates Palo Verde.
APS did not know Alavi had left the country with the information until the Maryland software manufacturer reported attempts to access the training system from a Tehran address.
Alavi was arrested April 8 as he stepped off a plane in Los Angeles. He was returning to the U.S. with his wife for the birth of their first child. He is being held without bail in Arizona.
Alavi acknowledged downloading the software in Iran but said he did it to show relatives and a business associate, according to court records.
The laptop was still in a closet at his mother's house in Tehran, he said.
He told authorities he was about to start a job with an electric-motor company in Tehran.
The plant, located in Wintersburg about 50 miles west of downtown Phoenix, supplies electricity to 4 million customers in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and California.
Sounds like a Homer Simpson excuse. So he moved back to Iran but they were wtill working on their anchor baby? I hope his wife was refused entry to the country. Yeah, right.
I bet it ain't no more.........
Hey Guys! Come on! When I stole that classified nuclear plant software and took it to Iran...
I was just goofing around...lighten up dude...
That is a good point, how many times do you leave a laptop in your mom’s closet half way around the world?
A nuclear detonation is a real attention getter for show and tell.
Yeah, I’m sure his ‘family’ would understand the technology enough to even BE impressed...
I don’t know that’s crazy.
We probably gave him the education in the first place. People from certain countries and/or islamic background shouldn’t be trained in sensitive technologies or be allowed to work around sensitive technologies.
And why is the penalty for giving nuclear information to Iran only a few months? Why isn’t he charged with treason?
‘Cuz he is a degreed engineer and was capable of handling the job. I can guarantee there are hundreds of Mohammeds working in this industry, both at the plants and for the various vendors and contract engineering firms.
Our government is working overtime to attract immigrants from enemy nations and provide them with citizenship. The bodies of our soldiers were dragged through the streets in Somali. What did we do? We started to import Somalis to this country.
What wonderful security nuke plants have. The hire Iranians and Chinese nationals and we get stressed when they leak the information to their home countries. From what I am seeing, we have better security at Wal-mart than we have at Palo Verde.
Cut his head off.
I do that all the time. I take nuclear secrets around to show off to my friends and family.
I thought everyone did??
GAHHHHHHHHHH! We need a constitutional amendment to replace the 14th that makes it crystal clear that you can't just jump the border and spit out a kid and have it be a citizen. My head is about to explode.
This anchor baby phenomenon isn’t the result of the 14th Amendment, it’s the fault of the courts and their officers (lawyers). This view of the 14th Amendment was tried in Plyler v. Doe in 1982. The court justified its decision that babies of illegal immigrants are citizens on the logic that illegal immigrants are “within the jurisdiction” of the staes in which they reside. The problem with this justification is that that isn’t what the 14th Amendment says! It says, “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”. This was meant to preclude the children of foreign diplomats, enemy forces, American Indians and those simply on holiday from gaining automatic citizenship of our country by happenstance of their location at birth.
By “Ain’t no more” I meant that the Iranian Secret police must have taken it by now, if it was ever there, since the reporter just told them exactly where to go...........
Hardly a border-jumper. I think his kid would be entitled to citizenship regardless of where its born.
Giving him the full 21 months is sure to impress his friends and family. I don't believe the "I didn't know better" excuse for one nanosecond.
Well of course! Wal-Mart doesn't want people to steal their stuff!.......
Although a case could be made to prohibit foreign nationals from countries avowed to pursue America's destruction (e.g., Iran) from working in sensitive industries - that apparently is not the law. And although a case could be made to disqualify islamics from First Amendment rights since their religion codifies violence against those that don't believe in islam -- that also is not the law (yet)...
From what I read this gentleman took some unclassified software 'home' that his company encouraged their employees to take 'home'.
I don't see the crime.