- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 6, 2003

A code expert testified yesterday that spy trial defendant Brian Patrick Regan used more than 90 alphabets to encode top-secret U.S. information that would have been valuable to Iraq and Iran.
The coded information was found on the hard drive of a personal computer and in possession of retired Air Force Master Sgt. Regan when he was arrested Aug. 23, 2001, at Washington Dulles International Airport. He was ready to board a plane to Switzerland.
Daniel Olson, an FBI code expert, described how codes are created from letters and numerals to the U.S. District Court jury in Alexandria, which could sentence Sgt. Regan to death with a guilty verdict.
Coded notes and letters found on Sgt. Regan and in his wallet when arrested gave the street addresses of banks in Zurich and Bern, Switzerland, where other messages indicated millions of dollars should be deposited.
"I will require a minimum payment of 13 million in American dollars," stated one message, while another listed the sum at $22,420,000.
Another message stated "I have to be paid … if I risk my life for the future of my family."
Sgt. Regan, 40, the father of four, lives in Bowie.
A letter to Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi stated, "I am willing to commit espionage against the United States by providing your country with highly classified information."
Mr. Olson said most of the codes were created by the French about 200 years ago. Some codes were used on paragraphs, changed for a few words in a sentence, changed to another code for other phrases.
"You have to know which alphabet to use for each letter," Mr. Olson said, explaining that he spent two months deciphering one message determined to be a Caesar code about 2,000 years old, and that compilation of the codes would have taken at least 40 hours.
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Jonathan Shapiro, Mr. Olson agreed that "it is a simplistic code" and that the National Security Agency had disagreed with some of his conclusions.
Mr. Olson was the last witness for the prosecution. Defense attorneys called three witnesses yesterday, most of whom emphasized that the material and photographs were really not top secret because they could be obtained on the Internet and from commercial satellites.
Also, several foreign nations have about 20 satellites that could have provided the information and photos, said Ray Williamson, of the Space Policy Institute of George Washington University and a teacher at the International Space University in France.
Defense attorneys filed a motion for acquittal after Mr. Olson testified. Judge Gerald Bruce Lee denied the motion. Today will be the eighth day of the trial.

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