Behind the Crime Scene - A True Crime Podcast
It's December of 1990. The United States is defending our interests in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. An espionage investigation is opened against Specialist 4 Albert T. Sombolay, a soldier stationed in Baumholder, Germany, with B Battery, 2nd of the 29th Field Artillery Battalion, Division Artillery, 8th Infantry Division. Sombolay is a naturalized US citizen, originally from Zaire. He enlisted when he was 34-35 years old, and was a 39 year old Specialist 4 during the time he was under investigation.
Sombolay sold national defense information to the Jordanians and attempted to contact Iraqi government officials to volunteer as a spy on multiple occasions. This investigation employed a false flag operation, commonly called a “sting,” against Sombolay which was electronically recorded and used in the court-martial, proving his contact with a foreign intelligence service and what he hoped to accomplish for them in the future through his own words and actions.
During the sting, Sombolay told the UCO, whom he readily accepted as a Jordanian intelligence officer, that what he was doing was a “dangerous thing, very dangerous.” Sombolay continued that if “they catch me, I’m good for that day. It’s treason. It’s treason. They trusted me.” Sombolay pled guilty to aiding the enemy along with the two counts of espionage and two attempted acts of espionage.
Join us Behind the Crime Scene with U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Constance Y. Huff to learn how she brought a Gulf War spy to justice.
Note: Connie refrained from using the names of the personnel working on this case due to the sensitive jobs they may be holding today.
Constance Y. Huff had a distinguished 24.5 year career in the United States Army and was recognized throughout the strategic counterintelligence (CI) community as one of the Army's premiere espionage investigators. In this capacity, she planned, conducted and supervised sensitive and complex counterespionage investigations.
Ms. Huff was the lead counterespionage investigator and team chief in one of the US Army-Europe's (USAREUR) highest priority espionage investigations which became the Army's most successful Desert Shield/Storm espionage neutralization. This stopped the hemorrhage of defense information to two Arab intelligence services and resulted in a 34-year sentence for a convicted solider. In 1992 as a result of this successful arrest and prosecution of the Desert Shield/Storm spy, Ms. Huff was named as the Department of Defense "Investigator of the Year."
Ms. Huff wrote the definitive "how to" guide for the DoD Foreign Counterintelligence community on false flag or sting operations. She also authored the US Army’s first comprehensive Counterespionage Standard Operating Procedures for the conduct of counterespionage investigations in the Army’s European Theater, as well as various other counterespionage publications.
Ms. Huff has taught intelligence professionals from all 16 members of the US Intelligence Community as well as private corporations while on active duty and post-retirement when she worked for a private CI training company. She taught interviewing and interrogation, the conduct of counterespionage investigations, physical surveillance, tradecraft, offensive espionage operations, and myriad counterterrorism training modules.
Ms. Huff earned a Master of Education from Boston University. In March 1995, she graduated from the FBI National Academy (Session 180) with coursework in Criminal Justice Education. Ms. Huff has received numerous awards for leadership, technical expertise, and initiatives in training, investigations, interviewing and interrogations, including two Legion of Merit Awards and six Meritorious Service Medals.