- The Washington Times - Friday, February 15, 2002

A retired Air Force master sergeant was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury on charges of attempting to spy for Iraq, Libya and China against the United States in exchange for $13 million.

The four-count indictment said Brian P. 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.

The indictment described Mr. Regan's spy offer as a "systematic and calculated plan to damage U.S. security." Two of the four counts carry the death penalty.

Yesterday's indictment was the second time Mr. Regan had been named as a suspected spy. A government contractor at the super-secret National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) after his August 2000 retirement, he was named Oct. 23 on one count of attempted espionage and pleaded not guilty in that case in November.

According to the new indictment, Mr. Regan said in his letters that $13 million was "a small price to pay to have someone within the heart of U.S. intelligence agency providing you with vital secrets," adding that "there are many people from movie stars to athletes in the United States who receive tens of millions a year for their trivial contributions."

Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson said the new charges include three counts of attempted espionage and one count of gathering national-defense information.

"The indictment details Regan's betrayal of his country by attempting to sell for cash highly classified national-security information to Libya, Iraq and China," Mr. Thompson said. "Regan is charged with attempts to sell our intelligence agencies' most valuable secrets for the purpose of enriching himself."

Mr. Thompson said Mr. Regan wrote in his letter to Saddam: "If I am caught, I will be imprisoned for the rest of my life, if not executed, for this deed. Considering the risk I am about to take, I will require a minimum payment of $13 million U.S. dollars."

He said Mr. Regan told Col. Gadhafi he could provide top-secret information that directly concerned satellites, early-warning systems, means of defense against large-scale attack, communications intelligence information and major elements of defense strategy.

"Regan's actions to sell our national security were a direct violation of his repeated oaths to protect and defend the United States of America, its Constitution and its national-security secrets," Mr. Thompson said.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. McNulty said Mr. Regan will be arraigned on the charges today in U.S. District Court in Alexandria.

Mr. Regan initially was arrested Aug. 23 by FBI agents at Washington Dulles International Airport. Agents found a piece of paper hidden in his right shoe with the addresses of embassies for China and Iraq. He was charged at the time with conspiracy to commit espionage.

The government said Mr. Regan had access to classified information in his work at the NRO, which designs, builds and operates spy satellites. Prosecutors said Mr. Regan began his espionage activities shortly after his retirement from the service. The government said the activities continued until his Aug. 23 arrest.

An FBI affidavit said Mr. Regan 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. The affidavit said Mr. Regan was suspected of being the source of several classified documents received by an unnamed foreign country.

They included secret electronic images, a CIA intelligence report and documents related to a foreign country's satellite capability.

As part of the 13-member Intelligence Community, the NRO plays a primary role in achieving information superiority for the U.S. government and armed forces. The existence of the NRO was a secret until 1992.

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