Pentagon Analyst in Hot Water Again

A Pentagon (search) analyst previously accused of leaking top-secret information to a pro-Israel group was charged Tuesday with illegally taking classified government documents out of the Washington area to his West Virginia residence.

Lawrence A. Franklin (search), 58, was not authorized to take such documents to his home in Kearneysville, according to the federal charge issued along with an arrest warrant by U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Johnston.

Franklin surrendered to FBI (search) agents and appeared before a federal magistrate in Martinsburg. He was released Tuesday on $50,000 bond and faces a June 9 hearing on the latest charge.

Franklin's lawyer, Plato Cacheris, was not immediately available for comment following the court appearance.

The FBI found 83 classified documents in Franklin's home in the Eastern Panhandle town in June 2004, the documents said. Investigators say 38 of those documents were top secret and 37 others were classified as secret.

Tuesday's charge of unlawfully possessing classified federal defense documents focuses on six of the documents, which were written between October 2003 and June 2004. Four were CIA documents, including three about al-Qaida and one involving Osama bin Laden. Two of those documents were classified top secret, the rest as secret.

Franklin was authorized to carry such documents within the Washington-Baltimore-Richmond area but not to West Virginia, the announcement said.

Franklin, a specialist in Iranian and Middle Eastern affairs, had consented to the June 2004 search while the FBI investigated whether Israel improperly obtained U.S. secrets. He lost his clearance to review top secret documents that same month.

He was charged May 3 with providing top-secret information about potential attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq to two executives of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the influential pro-Israel lobbying group.

Franklin faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of the charge filed Tuesday. The earlier charge carries a similar prison term.

During a May 4 hearing for the previous charge, Franklin posted $100,000 bail and agreed to surrender his firearms and passport. He has a preliminary hearing Friday on that charge.