ABC News: Still active in US, Israeli ‘art student’ spies case NSA data center
SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah — Sales people working neighborhoods in Northern Utah County have been asking some odd questions that have nothing to do with making the sale. Folks are reporting that they’re asking about the new National Security Agency’s data center that is being built at Camp Williams.
The sales people say they’re Israeli art students and are selling their works to raise money for a gallery. Some have even produced what appear to be legitimate Israeli passports.
So, why would art students be interested in an NSA data center?
Blogs and even church bulletins are buzzing. One such bulletin sent out to LDS [Latter Day Saints, i.e., Mormon] women in Highland said, “This is a scam! These are not art students and federal law enforcement groups are actually investigating their ties to organized crime and terrorist groups.” The note went on, “Part of their mission here is to gain information on the new NSA installation coming to our area.”
One Israeli artist knocked on Gail Black’s door in Eagle Mountain. She bought a painting from him knowing that the price was too high, but she explained that she felt sorry for him. I asked her if he looked like a Mossad spy, she laughed and said, “No, just a poor thirsty boy.” She said the subject of the NSA did not come up in their conversation.
Saratoga Springs residents have complained to their police department about the art students. Officer Matt Schauerhamer tracked down one group at a restaurant. He does not know if they were spies, but they’re definitely not artists.
“I told them, ‘If you’re actually an artist, why don’t you draw something?’ I gave them a piece of paper and gave them my pen. They produced a picture that was about on par with what my kindergartner could have done.”
Officer Schauerhamer cited the group for soliciting without a city business license and then passed along their information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He said ICE is investigating.
ABC 4 also contacted other agencies that might have interest in possible door-to-door spies. We were told by a spokesman for Utah Homeland Security that they were unaware of the Israeli artists and the FBI had no comment.
The above article can be found here: http://www.abc4.com/content/news/slc/story/Door-to-door-spies-in-Utah-County/sjOWsjk_zEqf6QeAfk4ZJw.cspx