Albert Sombolay - Traitor to the Nation During the Gulf War

Source: DSS Web SIte - J4JP Web Posted June 24, 2001

J4JP Note:

The Defense Security Service Description of Albert Sombolay below does not show the numerous reductions in his sentence. The last recorded reduction was in 1992 when his sentence was reduced to 19 years with further appeals pending. It is fairly certain that by the time of this posting (June 2001) Sombolay is a free man, however the government secrecy surrounding this case makes it difficult to confirm exactly when it was that Sombolay went free.

ALBERT T. SOMBOLAY, a specialist 4th class with the Army artillery, pleaded guilty in July 1991 to espionage and aiding the enemy. He was tried by military judge in Baumholder, Germany, and sentenced to confinement at hard labor for 34 years, reduction to E-1, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and dishonorable discharge.

Sombolay was born in Zaire, Africa. He became a US citizen in 1978 and entered the Army in 1985 as a cannon crewman. In December 1990, assigned to the 8th Infantry Division in Baumholder, Germany, he contacted the Iraqi and Jordanian embassies to volunteer his services in support of the "Arab cause." To the Jordanian Embassy in Brussels he passed information on US troop readiness and promised more information to include videotapes of US equipment and positions in Saudi Arabia. He told the Jordanians that he would be deployed to Saudi Arabia and could provide them useful information. To the Iraqi Embassy in Bonn, Germany, he offered the same services, but the embassy did not respond.

On 29 December, Sombolay's unit was deployed to Saudi Arabia, as part of Desert Shield, without him. Still in Germany, Sombolay continued to contact the Iraqis and provided a Jordanian representative several items of chemical warfare equipment (chemical suit, boots, gloves, and decontamination gear). His activity was discovered by US Army Military Intelligence. After Sombolay's arrest in March 1991, he admitted to providing DESERT SHIELD deployment information, military identification cards, and chemical protection equipment to Jordanian officials. His motivation was money.

Sources:

  • Cincinnati Post, 7 Dec 1991, "Anatomy of a Spy"
  • Huntsville Times 4 Dec 1991, "Army Spy Sentenced to 34 Years"