In what they called a "major espionage case," federal agents arrested an Army intelligence analyst in Georgia on suspicion of spying and apprehended a Turkish-born man in Florida in twin raids, Army and FBI spokesmen said today.
Warrant Officer James William Hall III, 30, who had been involved in intercepting East Bloc communications while based in West Germany, was arrested in Savannah, Ga., by Army intelligence special agents following a search of his home early today.
Hall is suspected of espionage while serving in West Germany on three occasions for much of the last decade and while in the United States, authorities said.
When he was arrested, Hall had been on active duty with the 24th Infantry Division at Ft. Stewart, an Army statement said.
On Tuesday night, FBI and Army agents searched the home of a man identified only as Huseyin Yildirim in Belleaire Beach, Fla., about 20 miles west of Tampa, and arrested him on a material witness warrant. Government sources said Yildirim is Turkish-born but offered no other information about him.
Scant Details Given
Spokesmen for the FBI and the Army's Intelligence Security Command disclosed only scant details of the inquiry.
Asked the dimensions of the investigation, a federal law enforcement source called it "a major espionage case."
An Army spokesman, Lt. Col. John Chapla, said he could not disclose the kind of information Hall allegedly passed or to what government. Sources said the recipient of the suspected espionage was an East Bloc country, but not the Soviet Union.
Chapla said he did not know the motivation for the suspected espionage, whether for monetary gain or ideology.
Chapla said that as an officer in the Army's G-2 intelligence section in West Germany, Hall specialized in electronic warfare and analyzed incoming radio transmissions. He probably would have been involved in voice intercepts and cryptanalysis, he said.
Scope of Work Described
At Ft. Stewart, the G-2 intelligence section is responsible for the collection of information on enemy capability, strength and weaknesses.
"The alleged espionage took place in Europe and in the continental United States," Chapla said.
Hall joined the Army in 1976 and had three postings in Europe, all in West Germany.
He was stationed in Schneeberg, West Germany, from June, 1977, to January, 1981, when he transferred to Berlin. He remained in Berlin until March, 1985, and then returned to the United States. He was sent to Frankfurt, West Germany, in January, 1986, and returned home in May, 1987.
"At present he is in the detention facility at Ft. Stewart," Chapla said.
"He has not been charged. At some point, a general court-martial authority will have to decide whether to charge him."
FBI spokesman Bill Carter said federal agents and Army Intelligence officers had searched Hall's Richmond Hill, Ga., home for evidence in the case.
The warrants charging both Hall and Yildirim were sealed.