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Retired Air Force Sergeant Arrested For Espionage

Aired August 24, 2001 - 12:31   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Ironically, while President Bush was naming Air Force general to head the Joint Chiefs of Staff, an Air Force sergeant has been arrested on espionage charges.

With more on that, let's go to David Ensor in our Washington, D.C. bureau. David?

DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATL. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Daryn. Retired Master Sergeant Brian Regan, officials are saying. Others say it's pronounced Regan, we're not sure on the pronunciation. He lives in Bowie, Maryland.

He was arrested yesterday at Dulles Airport, planning to board an aircraft to Europe. He is contractor for the National Reconnaissance Office, which is very secretive intelligence agency. It handles spy satellites for the United States, the design, the production and the fielding of spy satellites. And it's headquartered in Chantilly, Virginia.

The -- Mr. -- Retired Sergeant Regan, Regan, worked as a contractor. He's currently listed as contractor for the NRO, but I talked to officials asking: What exactly is it that he's alleged to have been offering to a foreign power? And officials warned me against the idea that it had directly to do with satellite designs.

We do not know at this point what exactly it was that the master sergeant is accused of offering to a foreign power by way of espionage, in terms of information, but it may not have been to do with satellite decision, per se.

He will be arraigned, we are told, in Alexandria, Virginia, later this afternoon. There will be a full affidavit put out at that time. So we will know more about the details.

No comment at this point on which country he is alleged to have been spying -- or offering to spy -- for. Daryn.

KAGAN: David, if not spy satellites, do you know what other kind of information he could have had access to working where he did?

ENSOR: He had very high security clearance, Daryn, I understand. He would have had access, of course, to a lot of information about who works in different intelligence agencies. There could have been something to do with personnel and names, but there's a wide variety of other kinds of information that someone with high security clearance could have access to. So, really we can't narrow it down at this point, Daryn.

KAGAN: More information ahead. David Ensor, thank you so much.

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