WASHINGTON (AP) -- The FBI says a senior analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency began spying for Cuba nearly five years ago, passing along secrets about a U.S. war games exercise and the American military's knowledge of military weapons in Cuba.
Ana Belen Montes, an employee of the Defense Intelligence Agency since 1985, appeared before a U.S. magistrate Friday in Washington and was charged with conspiracy to deliver U.S. national defense information to Cuba. She entered no plea and was ordered held without bond.
In a 17-page affidavit, the FBI alleged that the Cuban intelligence service passed messages to Montes via shortwave radio and that the DIA analyst began spying for Cuba the day she bought her laptop computer, Oct. 5, 1996. The document said she used a set of computer disks to decrypt messages transmitted to her from the Cuban Intelligence Service.
One partially recovered message deals with "a particular special access program related to the national defense of the United States," which is so sensitive that it could not be publicly revealed in the court documents, the document said. The DIA confirmed that Montes and a colleague were briefed on the highly sensitive program on May 15, 1997.
According to the affidavit, a message from her Cuban contacts said regarding the 1996 war games: "Practically everything that takes place there will be of intelligence value. Let's see if it deals with contingency plans and specific targets in Cuba." Montes attended the exercise in Norfolk, Va.
Some of the messages suggested that Montes disclosed the upcoming arrival of a U.S. military intelligence officer in Cuba, the FBI said.
"As a result, the Cuban government was able to direct its counterintelligence resources against the U.S. officer," it said.
The FBI said Montes got a message back from her Cuban handlers stating, "We were waiting here for him with open arms."
The FBI secretly entered Montes' residence under a court order May 25.
It was unclear whether the Montes case was directly related to a ring in Florida convicted of spying for Cuba. However, the FBI affidavit notes repeatedly that methods of passing classified information that Montes allegedly used were the same as those used by the Miami defendants.
Five Florida defendants were convicted in June, and two pleaded guilty in Miami Friday, bringing to seven the number of defendants in a spy ring that prosecutors have labeled "The Wasp Network."
During surveillance of Montes, the FBI trailed her around suburban Washington as she used a series of pay phones, allegedly communicating with the Cuban intelligence service by calling a pager number.
The FBI said the Cuban intelligence service often communicates with clandestine agents outside Cuba by broadcasting encrypted messages at high frequencies that transmit a series of numbers. The agent monitoring the message on a shortwave radio keys in the numbers on a computer.
Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., said Cuba shares intelligence information with terrorist states. "It was critically important that the spy be stopped now as the United States embarks upon a worldwide war against terrorism," he said.
Montes worked at DIA headquarters at Bolling Air Force Base here. The agency provides analyses of foreign countries' military capabilities and troop strengths for Pentagon planners. Along with the CIA, National Security Agency and National Reconnaissance Office, it is one of the main agencies of the U.S. intelligence community.
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