Nuclear Scientist Sentenced to 5 Years for New York City Bomb Plot
By Brett Daniel Shehadey
Special Contributor for In Homeland Security
A retired Los Alamos National Laboratory nuclear physicist named Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni received a five-year prison sentence Wednesday for his plans to design 40 nuclear bombs for Venezuela over the next 20 years for “money and power.” One of Mascheroni’s planned bombs targeted New York City.
Mascheroni’s reasons included a warped leftist ideological factor to prevent the U.S. from invading the oil-rich Venezuela. He was driven by an echo-activism for cleaner nuclear designs with no convictions of Venezuela’s radical socialist hostility to America.
Mascheroni, an 80-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Argentina, was arrested and indicted in 2010 following a two-year FBI investigation into Mascheroni’s reaching out to foreign governments. In 2013, he pleaded guilty on several counts.
The nuclear bomb scheme was improbable in that Mascheroni was extremely unlikely to deliver; the idea was just some spur-of-the-moment disgruntled rage. He believed the U.S. government was mad and tried to trap him for being a critic of American nuclear policy.
Ultimately, it was Mascheroni who wanted to help a foreign power attack an American city and deliver nuclear secrets and plans of attack. Even if Mascheroni claims that the attack on New York was just to destroy the power grid, and had it not worked at all, Mascheroni was obliged to give the Venezuelan government more than mere science fiction to receive any real money.
Mascheroni’s wife was also convicted of conspiracy charges to sell nuclear secrets, and received a one-year sentence.
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