- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 16, 2002

A retired Air Force master sergeant accused of attempting to spy on the United States for Iraq, Libya and China for a $13 million fee pleaded not guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria.

Brian P. Regan, a Bowie resident, is charged with offering 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.

A four-count 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.

Mr. Regan, 40, who worked as a government contractor at the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) following his August 2000 Air Force retirement, did not speak during the five-minute hearing. His attorney, Nina Ginsberg, entered not guilty pleas for her client on three counts of attempted espionage and one count of mishandling classified information.

Mrs. Ginsberg, who requested a jury trial, told reporters outside the courthouse that Mr. Regan was "very distressed" by the latest charges, adding that she intended to "vigorously defend these charges."

Mr. Regan initially was arrested Aug. 23 by FBI agents at Washington Dulles International Airport and charged with one count of attempted espionage. Agents found a piece of paper hidden in his right shoe with the addresses of embassies for China and Iraq. The new indictment added three new counts.

The government said Mr. Regan was employed by TRW Inc. and served as a contract employee to the NRO, which designs, builds and operates spy satellites.

Prosecutors said Mr. Regan began his espionage activities shortly after his retirement from the service and that they 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.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Bellows asked the court to cancel an original trial date of March 4 to give the government additional time to prepare their case. A hearing was set for Feb. 25

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."

It said Mr. Regan offered to provide a sample of the intelligence materials he could provide to Iraq for $1 million.

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