The Venezuelan government was not involved. An FBI agent posed as Venezuelan official Luis Ramirez. Argentine born Pedro Mascheroni and his wife Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni approached the agent with a proposal for a nuclear Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) device to kill power in Manhattan, New York.
NPR reports that Pedro Mascheroni was disgruntled about the Department of Energy decision not to fund his pet project in the 1980's and lost his clearance over 20 years ago.
Other reports mention his pet project was a laser-fusion project and he was laid off during a 1980's reduction of force by the agency. He continued to be disgruntled to the point of calling the Department of Energy his enemy and having that in common with Hugo Chavez, leader of Venezuela.
Both reports say that documents related to the case were unsealed on September 17, 2010. SmokingGun.Com has not posted them yet.
Pedro was still in jail at the time of the reports. Marjorie was released by a judge and is under heavy surveillance.
The Albuquerque Journal covers some additional details:
And Mascheroni had other plans for Hugo Chavez's government, court documents say. He suggested an explosion over New York that could produce an "electromagnetic pulse" to knock out the metropolis' electrical power and a laser that could blind satellites; in Venezuela, a secret underground reactor for enriching uranium below an open, above-ground nuclear power plant, along with an underground facility for undetectable tests of "micro-bombs"; and making Venezuela Latin America's defense "umbrella" able to retaliate against attacks with nuclear bombs.
In a departure from the other stories, they say the FBI agent used the name "Luis Jimenez".
Update: Even Slashdot beat me by a day :(
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