Israeli pleads guilty to leaking classified U.S. documents

By Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz Correspondent, and The Associated Press

An Israeli lawyer and left-wing activist who worked as a linguist for the FBI has pleaded guilty to leaking classified documents to a blogger who posted the information online.

Officials say 39-year-old Shamai Kedem Leibowitz of Silver Spring, Md., admitted giving secret documents to the unidentified host of the Web site.

The FBI says Leibowitz held a top security clearance for his work as a linguist, and in April of this year gave the blogger documents about U.S. communication intelligence activities.

Officials would not say what the information was or where it appeared online.

Leibowitz has described himself "an Israeli-American attorney, admitted in New York and in Israel" and "a certified Hebrew-English translator and interpreter," according to the Web site Politico, which also reported that Leibowitz previously garnered attention for working on the defense team of jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti.

Politico goes on to report that Leibowitz, the grandson of famous Israeli Torah scholar, philosopher and leftist, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, supports a one-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which most Israelis reject because it would eliminate a Jewish demographic majority.

He has also encouraged efforts to get U.S. institutions to divest in Israeli bonds.

Under a plea deal reached Thursday in federal court in Maryland, Leibowitz is expected to receive a prison term of one year and eight months.