- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 20, 2002

The government will seek the death penalty for a retired Air Force master sergeant accused of attempting to sell U.S. secrets to three foreign governments, U.S. Attorney Paul J. McNulty said yesterday.
Brian P. Regan, 39, a government contractor at the supersecret National Reconnaissance Office, is accused of attempting to spy for Iraq, Libya and China. Charged with conspiracy to commit espionage in exchange for a $13 million fee, he has pleaded not guilty.
Mr. McNulty said Mr. Regan, a Bowie resident, offered his services in letters to Iraq's Saddam Hussein and Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, saying he was "willing to commit espionage against the United States" by providing highly classified information.
In papers filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Mr. McNulty said a sentence of death was justified if Mr. Regan is convicted because he "knowingly created a grave risk of substantial danger to the national security."
He accused the former Air Force sergeant of "exceptional planning and premeditation" in plotting his espionage.
Mr. McNulty also said Mr. Regan used the threat of the death penalty as a "marketing tool" when he demanded $13 million in Swiss currency from Saddam.
Mr. McNulty said Mr. Regan told the Iraqi dictator if he was caught, "I will be imprisoned for the rest of my life, if not executed for this deed."
In the court papers, Mr. McNulty noted that Mr. Regan "actually committed espionage, not just attempted espionage," but added that evidence the government will cite during sentencing may not be admissible during the trial itself.
U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee in Alexandria had given prosecutors until April 22 to decide whether they intended to seek the death penalty.
According to the indictment, Mr. Regan said in his letters that $13 million was "a small price to pay to have someone within the heart of a U.S. intelligence agency providing you with vital secrets." The indictment said he offered for $1 million to provide Iraq with a sample of the intelligence materials he could provide.
The government said Mr. Regan had access to classified information at the NRO, which designs, builds and operates spy satellites, and he "conspired to transmit classified U.S. national defense information to a person or persons he knew were working for a foreign government."
Prosecutors said Mr. Regan began his espionage activities shortly after his retirement from the service in August 2000. An FBI affidavit said he was trained in cryptanalysis and his responsibilities included administering the Intelink Web site, a classified government computer system accessible only to certain members of the intelligence community.
They said Mr. Regan was suspected of being the source of a number of classified documents, including secret electronic images, a CIA intelligence report and documents related to a foreign country's satellite capability.
They said he accessed classified material after logging into Intelink and was seen taking notes while looking at a document on his computer.
The NRO's satellites warn the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Department of potential trouble spots around the world, help plan military operations and monitor the environment.
Mr. Regan joined the Air Force in August 1980 and was assigned in 1995 as an intelligence specialist at the Pentagon. After leaving the service, he went to work as a consultant for defense contractor TRW Inc. and was again assigned to the NRO.
Mr. Regan was indicted in February on three counts of attempted espionage and one count of gathering national defense information. Two of the charges carry the possibility of the death penalty.

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