L.A. Man Arrested for Being Saddam Hussein's US Spy
A Los Angeles, California, man is facing about 20 years in federal prison over allegations that he failed to disclose to the US government that he served as a spy for former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's regime.
William Shaoul Benjamin, 64, was arrested by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The agents took him into custody last week on charges that he conspired with others to act as an agent of the Iraqi government without notifying the Attorney General of the United States, as required by law.
Benjamin is also accused of making false statements, specifically failing to disclose when he applied for United States citizenship that he served as a paid source for the Iraqi Intelligence Service and falsely declaring that he had renounced allegiance to Iraq.
The charges are contained in an indictment handed by down by a grand jury in Los Angeles that was unsealed following Benjamin's arrest on Thursday.
According to the indictment, Benjamin communicated frequently with IIS operatives and was given the codename “9211.”
Benjamin allegedly infiltrated groups in the United States that were considered by the IIS to be hostile to Saddam Hussein's government. He would collect information regarding these organizations and pass it on to IIS operatives. Benjamin allegedly traveled to Iraq to train with the IIS and was compensated by the IIS for his services.
Beginning in 1993 and continuing at least through 2001, Benjamin allegedly received money, gifts, and other compensation from the IIS. It is also alleged that, on multiple occasions, he met and communicated with members of the IIS and traveled to Iraq.
Saddam Hussein's regime controlled Iraq from 1979 to 2003. The IIS, known in Arabic as the Da'irat al-Mukhabbarat al-'Amma or the Mukhabbarat, was the foreign intelligence arm of the Iraqi government. The IIS' mission included collecting foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, and information regarding individuals and groups considered hostile to the Iraqi government.
Benjamin pleaded not guilty and was released on a $500,000 bond with electronic monitoring pending his trial scheduled for November 7.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.