US Scientist Claims He
'Lost' Nuclear Secrets /news.php3?id=111495
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The government scientist fired in the Chinese spying scandal has told investigators that he cannot account for several computer diskettes containing nuclear secrets, the Washington Post said on Saturday.
The newspaper quoted unnamed U.S. officials as saying the transfer increases the magnitude of the alleged violation by Wen Ho Lee, a former government scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
Lee was fired by Department of Energy officials earlier this year for violating lab security procedures, but has denied allegations he passed information to China. China has steadfastly denied spying.
The Post quoted a congressional source as saying there were indications that Lee copied nuclear weapons computer codes onto diskettes. Lee has failed to turn over some of them to investigators, and says he does not know their whereabouts.
"At least two high-density (diskettes) that he purchased are missing," the Post quoted an official familiar with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) probe as saying.
The paper said FBI Director Louis Freeh briefed some members of Congress about the case this week, saying he expects Lee to be indicted for gross negligence in handling classified information.
On Friday, the Post reported - again quoting unnamed sources - that the FBI had found new evidence suggesting China may have stolen information about the most advanced U.S. nuclear warhead from one of the weapon's assemblers.
The discovery resulted in a widening of the evidence that previously focused almost entirely on Lee and the Los Alamos, the Post said on Friday.