Soldier Facing Charges After Taking Flash Drive With Secret Documents

Sources say breach was apparently unintentional; prosecution's harsh stance seen as response to Kamm case

A woman serving in the electronic surveillance unit is being tried for endangering national security, after she allegedly took a flash drive containing classified documents from the National Security Council offices.

She holds the rank of sergeant and is part of the surveillance unit's technical staff.

When she allegedly took the documents, in late 2009, she was checking sophisticated communications equipment at the NSC. At the office, she saw a flash drive, which she took.

When people at the NSC realized the flash drive was missing, they contacted her and she stated she had it.

The flash drive had about 600 classified documents saved on it, including 45 that were listed as Top Secret.

In the initial investigation no evidence was found that the soldier had used the flash drive or had tried to copy the documents.

However, 10 months after the fact, the military prosecutor decided to charge the soldier with "violating her authority to the point of endangering national security," which is punishable by up to five years in jail.

NSC sources said they do not believe the breach was intentional, and expressed surprise upon hearing about the charges against the soldier.

Defense establishment sources say they believe the military prosecutor is being hard on the soldier because of the precedent of Anat Kamm, who was indicted for passing classified documents to Haaretz journalist Uri Blau. Kamm is believed to have passed on some 2,000 documents that she copied while serving in the office of GOC Central Command

Attorney Shai Rode, who is defending the soldier, said, "The soldier wanted to report to her commander that documents are not being protected appropriately and that they had been copied, contrary to regulations, onto a flash drive.

"She did not copy the documents and did not read them, and she immediately admitted she had the flash drive. Not only was she not arrested but she continued to serve in her post," he said. "I do not know why she is being accused of such a severe violation."