Iranian-American arrested at Newark Airport for attempting to smuggle F-35 blueprints

Planes at Newark Liberty International Airport. Credit: Nikon via Wikimedia Commons.

( An Iranian-American former defense contractor employee was arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey last week for attempting to smuggle out blueprints and other materials related to the F-35 joint strike fighter jet, U.S. prosecutors say.

Mozaffer Khazaee, 59, a dual U.S. and Iranian citizen, was a former engineer at the Connecticut-based defense firm Pratt and Whiney. Khazaee was arrested at Newark as he attempted to board a flight last week to Frankfurt, Germany, then on to Iran. 

Weeks before that, Khazaee had arranged for a shipping company to take 44 boxes to Iran that contained personal materials, according to Khazaee. But prosecutors said that the boxes actually held “thousands of pages contained in dozens of manuals/binders relating to the JSF [F-35 Joint Strike Fighter] program,” ABC News reported.

Hailed as the most advanced fighter aircraft ever assembled, the F-35 is also the most costly, with a price tag of around $400 billion for America's entire program for the jet. A number of America’s top allies, including Israel, are set to receive orders of the F-35.

Posted on January 15, 2014 .