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FBI Wiretapped Israeli Embassy, Blogger Tells New York Times

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ISRAELI FLAG
An Israeli flag hangs the center of Tel Aviv on September 3, 2011 (JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images). | Getty File

WASHINGTON -- A blogger has told The New York Times that an FBI translator gave him transcripts of conversations that were recorded by FBI wiretaps in the Israeli Embassy in Washington.

The translator, Shamai Leibowitz, was sentenced last year to 20 months in prison after pleading guilty to leaking classified documents. FBI officials would not describe what information was leaked.

Richard Silverstein, who writes a blog on Israeli-Arab relations, told the Times he received about 200 pages from Leibowitz. He says they included transcripts of telephone calls and conversations from the Israeli Embassy, including one in which Israeli officials express concerns that they are being monitored.

In a story on the Times website Monday, Silverstein said Leibowitz leaked the documents because he was concerned about Israeli efforts to influence U.S. lawmakers.

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Blogger says FBI wiretapped Israeli Embassy