THE SOMBOLAY CASE
Soldier Gets 34 Years for Espionage
Associated Press, July, 1991
[Jonathan Pollard's comments appear in square brackets below]
Heidelberg Germany - An American soldier has admitted he spied for Jordan during the Desert Storm build-up and was sentenced to
34 years in prison the US Army said yesterday.
[J. Pollard: Sombolay's sentence has subsequently substantially been reduced. See Lee Hamilton Letter.]
Army Headquarters in Heidelberg said Spc. Albert T. Sombolay also admitted getting in touch with Iraqi officials. He pleaded guilty to charges of espionage and contacting the enemy.
"Sombolay was paid about $1300.00 for his activities," the Army said.
Sombolay was arrested March 29, 1991 and sentenced in July but information about the case was delayed so investigators could continue the probe, the Army Statement said. It provided no other details.
[J. Pollard: The remarkable aspect of this incident was the length to which certain members of the Bush Administration went to downplay its seriousness. According to well-informed sources this was done in order to shield Jordan from any adverse Congressional reaction to its collusion with Iraq. It is clear that Israel did not warrant the same consideration and protection when I was caught.]
"During an investigation prior to his arrest Sombolay told an undercover agent he had initiated contact with the Jordanian and Iraqi embassies in Belgium and Germany in December 1990," the American Military said.
At the same time, the United States and its allies were building up troop strength in Saudi Arabia before launching Desert Storm, the offensive to drive Iraq out of Kuwait.
The statement continued: "He subsequently admitted to providing Desert Shield - Desert Storm deployment information, identification documents, and samples of U.S. Army chemical protection equipment to a foreign intelligence officer from Jordan.
[J.Pollard: Can you imagine what could have happened had this type of information fallen into the hands of a more competent opponent? For example, knowing the exact capabilities of the U.S. Army chemical protective gear gave the Iraqi Army the option of introducing a gas specifically designed to neutralize the equipment. Had the Iraqis exploited the opportunity that was handed to them to actually employ such a "tailored" weapon against our unsuspecting troops, the effects would have been horrific.]
Sombolay offered to photograph his unit's activities in Saudi Arabia, according to the statement.
U.S. Army spokesman Jim Boyle said he did not know the soldier's home town. Sombolay served in an artillery unit and was based with the 8th Infantry Division, which has its headquarters in the central German city of Bad Kreuznach.
The spokesman did not say whether the information he provided was damaging.
[J. Pollard: Why in the world is the army bending over backwards to protect this fellow? After all, his actions clearly endangered our entire South West Asia Expeditionary force.]
Return to Sambolay and Lalas Cases