- The Washington Times - Friday, August 24, 2001

Federal authorities said they have arrested a retired Air Force sergeant on charges of conspiracy to commit espionage.

Brian P. Regan, 38, was taken into custody last night as he was passing through a security checkpoint to take a Lufthansa flight to Zurich, Switzerland, via Frankfurt, Germany, said the U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Mr. Regan's carry-on lugage was searched at the airport as was his Maryland home and automobile. He is scheduled for an initial appearance in federal court in Alexandria, Va., this afternoon.

After he retired from the Air Force in August 2000, Mr. Regan, who resides in Bowie, Md., worked for a government contractor and was assigned to the National Reconnaissance Office in Chantilly, Va., where he had access to classified information.

The case is being investigated by the FBI's Washington field office foreign intelligence squad.

Federal prosecutors did not say what country Mr. Regan was allegedly spying for or what information he leaked.

The arrest follows by several months the apprehension of former FBI agent Robert Hanssen, a longtime counterintelligence expert who pleaded guilty to spying for Russian over a period of 15 years.

Hanssen, a Vienna, Va., resident arrested in February after he left a package for his Russian handlers in a park near his home, agreed to cooperate with authorities last month under a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty.

Hanssen, a father of six, promised a full confession of his spying activities as part of the agreement and has been debriefing intelligence authorities during interviews conducted at his jail cell.

The source said the information that the retired sergeant is alleged to have leaked to foreign sources is not nearly as damaging to national security as the secrets Hanssen divulged to the Soviets and later to the Russians.

Hanssen provided Moscow with information about U.S. satellites, early warning systems, defense or retaliation against nuclear attack, communications intelligence and major elements of defense strategy, the government said.

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