Whistleblower Fmr. FBI Agent Says Corrupt US Officials May Have Let Nuclear Secrets Go to Terrorists


Sibel Edmonds was a translator at the FBI when she overheard, in taped wiretaps, conversations that involved US officials at high levels organizing and taking bribes in exchange for dealing nuclear secrets to the black market. The Sunday Times, a London-based Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper, has now broken the story, after years of Edmonds being turned away by the US press, due to an unprecedented “state secrets privilege” gag order. The world press is taking note, while US media outlets continue to keep quiet or not investigate.

The gag order stems not from American law, but from ancient British monarchical rule, in which the Crown is permitted to impose total secrecy under the severest penalties, essentially to protect the interest of those attempting to exercise absolute power. It was once upheld in a US court, during the McCarthy “red scare” era, when agents in the government believed it was needed to protect the nation against widespread infiltration by communist sleeper cells.

Its application to Sibel Edmonds, who was dismissed after revealing to her superiors the content of the wiretaps she was tasked to translate, may have been specifically designed to prevent a criminal investigation by the FBI into illegal nuclear proliferation and high-level corruption.

The ACLU has looked into the case of Edmonds’ dismissal and her work at the FBI. She was hired in 2001, just after the attacks of 11 September, and the ACLU concludes, “She was fired less than a year later in March 2002 for reporting shoddy work and security breaches to her supervisors that could have prevented those attacks.”

So far, the US media has been disinterested, and has overlooked what is likely the biggest corruption scandal in the history of US government, considering to whom the nuclear secrets may have gone, and obvious potential deadly consequences. As unlikely as the US media’s disinterest in the allegations is the fact that the US government has had the necessary evidence to investigate and to prosecute these crimes since 2001, and has not done so.

Without revealing the target of the wiretaps she was asked to translate, Edmonds told the Sunday Times that she overheard a top State Dept. official discussing an exchange of bribes for passing nuclear secrets to Turkish agents.

This taped conversation was reportedly not an isolated event, but was rather part of a broad network of payoffs, blackmail and black-market dealing that spread to various agencies and departments and helped nuclear technology proliferate to more than one state considered by the US an enemy, and potentially to al-Qaeda or linked groups.

The Sunday Times reported “Among the hours of covert tape recordings, she says she heard evidence that one well-known senior official in the US State Department was being paid by Turkish agents in Washington who were selling the information on to black market buyers, including Pakistan.” The paper went on to say “The name of the official – who has held a series of top government posts – is known to The Sunday Times. He strongly denies the claims.”

Several investigative bloggers —namely Brad Friedman and Luke Ryland— and now allege that the official not named in the Sunday Times piece may well be then number three at State, Marc Grossman, though the charge has not been officially confirmed by those involved in the now stalled investigation. The Sunday Times piece notes that the official in question has emphatically denied any involvement.

The recorded wiretaps in question also allegedly revealed US officials delivering to foreign agents, in exchange for bribes, the names of officials within sensitive US agencies who might be apt targets for blackmail, passing along even the information needed to corner and blackmail them in order to obtain information about the building of nuclear devices.

It is alleged that the ring of black marketeering involved the head of Pakistan’s ISI, its top intelligence service, and that nuclear secrets may have been sold to al-Qaeda. Again, the Sunday Times piece: “The Turks, she says, often acted as a conduit for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s spy agency, because they were less likely to attract suspicion. Venues such as the American Turkish Council in Washington were used to drop off the cash, which was picked up by the official.”

It has been alleged in the past that US intelligence officials uncovered evidence that the head of ISI had “sanctioned” a wire transfer of $100,000 to Mohammed Atta, one of the 19 men said to be suicide agents on the 9/11 flights, and possibly the attack’s organizer.

“Before [Edmonds] left the FBI in 2002 she heard evidence that pointed to money laundering, drug imports and attempts to acquire nuclear and conventional weapons technology”, according to the Sunday Times. She went on to say that “While the FBI was investigating, several arms of the government were shielding what was going on.”

It is not clear when the actual sale of nuclear information took place, if during the 1990s or in 2001, when the tapes were being recorded. But the Sunday Times reports confirming with at least one CIA source that Turkish agents did secure nuclear secrets from US government officials, and that this information was sold to other nations as well.

The reach of Pakistan scientist A.Q. Khan —who came to prominence in Pakistan when he stole nuclear secrets from a Dutch uranium plant, and was made head of Pakistan’s nuclear program by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, father of recently assassinated fmr. PM Benazir Bhutto and founder of her Pakistan People’s Party— seems to touch on the unfolding story, as his network has been shown to have provided nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea.

At the time that Sibel Edmonds translated the tapes in question, the FBI was investigating senior officials at the Pentagon as well, and was pressing for more information on how US officials might be selling nuclear secrets and spurring worldwide proliferation. To date, no official investigation has been carried out by the Justice Department or by Congress. [s]


  • Foreign intelligence agents from Turkey, Israel and Pakistan enlisted the support of high-level US officials in order to acquire a network of moles deep inside of sensitive American military and nuclear agencies, including “PhD students – with security clearance [at] Los Alamos nuclear laboratory in New Mexico, which is responsible for the security of the US nuclear deterrent.”
  • Members of the diplomatic community were given lists of potential “moles” at the sensitive installations. Edmonds tells the Times: “the lists contained all their ‘hooking points’, which could be financial or sexual pressure points, their exact job in the Pentagon and what stuff they had access to.”
  • Well-known US officials were then bribed by foreign agents to steal US nuclear secrets. One such incident from 2000 involves an agent overheard on a wiretap discussing “nuclear information that had been stolen from an air force base in Alabama,” in which the agent allegedly is heard saying: “We have a package and we’re going to sell it for $250,000.”
  • Nuclear secrets were then subsequently sold by foreign agents to America’s enemies, including Iran, North Korea and Libya.
  • Elements of the US government have repeatedly shut down investigations into these crimes under the guise of protecting “certain diplomatic relations.”