B-2 stealth bomber is one of the most powerful
weapons in our national defense arsenal.
Its blend of special materials, engine design,
and signature wing shape makes it extremely
difficult to detect and track by radar.
It can fly long distances at a stretch and
unleash heavy barrages against fortified
when we learned that a former defense
contractor was trying to sell stealth
secrets to foreign governments, we immediately
opened an investigation.
Agent Thatcher P. Mohajerin of the Honolulu
counterintelligence squad, who took the
lead on the case, soon realized he was
going to need help analyzing mountains
of evidence he gathered.
he called on a powerful new weapon of
our own—a Field
Intelligence Group, or FIG, a team
of intelligence analysts, special agents,
language analysts, financial analysts,
and others working in each of our 56 field
offices who help pull together, analyze,
and share intelligence locally and nationally.
contacted Special Agent Michael Gadsden,
head of the Honolulu FIG, and explained
the details of the case. "We realized
the seriousness of the case and made it
a priority," said Gadsden. Gadsden
assigned an intelligence analyst to work
full-time with Mohajerin.
analyst provided important skills for
the case: technical experience in
analyzing computer forensics and an ability
as an attorney to know what kind of evidence
is needed to link someone to a crime and
what kinds of questions to ask in interviews.
One of the hardest things to prove in
an espionage case is that classified information
has been illegally transmitted. That's
where the analyst was especially helpful,
analyzing deleted documents from the suspect's
computer, including correspondence with
people the suspect had contacted.
Gadsden also provided additional resources
from his FIG for the case. FIG analysts,
for example, plowed through reams of financial
data that Agent Mohajerin had collected,
including bank statements, tax records,
credit statements, and other business
forms. The analysts made connections between
transactions that might otherwise have
been missed and that pointed the investigator
in new and important directions.
upshot? On October 26, we arrested
Noshir S. Gowadia, who had worked for
18 years for the defense contractor that
built the stealth bomber and helped develop
its propulsion system. Gowadia was indicted
on three counts of illegally transmitting
national defense information and three
counts of violating the Arms Export Control
the end, the FIG made a key difference.
"We simply wouldn't have had a case
without it," Mohajerin said.
the case couldn't have been made without
the support and help of FBI Headquarters,
either. It's a great example of how a
successful foreign counterintelligence
case is run in the field with support
from Washington. The U.S. Air Force Office
of Special Investigations and other partners
also provided extensive help in the case.
Release | FBI
courtesy of the U.S. Air Force.