Linguist charged under Espionage Act has Wis roots

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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A linguist for the Navy in Bahrain who's charged under the Espionage Act with possessing classified documents has Wisconsin roots.

A search warrant says shortly after James Hitselberger was arrested last month, FBI agents searched the home of his parents in Fond du Lac, taking photographs but not seizing anything. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Hitselberger had shipped six boxes to his parents from Bahrain.

The 55-year-old Hitselberger was indicted on two counts of taking national defense information. He pleaded not guilty last month.

Hitselberger, who's fluent in Arabic, was a federal contractor and translated documents for the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Gulf Cooperation Council.

An FBI affidavit unsealed Monday says Hitselberger copied documents last spring that discussed military troop activities and gaps in U.S. intelligence in Bahrain.