Monday, 28 September, 2020

US defence department linguist charged with espionage

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US officials allege the defendant’s actions place national protection at hazard

A US defence department linguist has been billed with transmitting “remarkably sensitive categorised” data to a international countrywide connected to the Lebanese Islamist militant group Hezbollah.

Mariam Thompson, 61, is accused of endangering the life of US military services staff and other folks on “active” obligation by revealing their actual names.

Her alleged steps have been a “risk to national protection”, US officers explained.

Ms Thompson was arrested by FBI brokers at an overseas US foundation on 27 February.

Previously of Rochester, Minnesota, she labored as a deal linguist and held a “best solution federal government safety clearance”, the US justice division claimed in a assertion on Wednesday.

“While in a war zone, the defendant allegedly gave sensitive national defence info, together with the names of people aiding the United States, to a Lebanese countrywide found abroad,” the justice department’s assistant attorney normal for nationwide protection, John Demers, explained.

“If correct, this conduct is a disgrace, primarily for somebody serving as a contractor with the United States armed service. This betrayal of state and colleagues will be punished,” he included.

The statement claims that an investigation into Ms Thompson proven “a noteworthy change” in her network exercise on the department’s labeled units, which includes accessing “information she experienced no cause to obtain”.

Then, on 19 February, an authorised research of her dwelling quarters led to the discovery of a handwritten note in Arabic hidden below her mattress.

The take note contained details “figuring out human assets by name”, when warning a person of interest affiliated with Hezbollah that these individuals’ telephones “really should be monitored”, the assertion adds.

Ms Thompson allegedly shared the classified information and facts with a “co-conspirator in whom she experienced a passionate desire”. The FBI investigation uncovered that she knew this person was a overseas nationwide whose relative labored for the Lebanese govt.

Ms Thompson is thanks to make an first court docket visual appearance on Wednesday.

If she is later convicted, she faces a optimum sentence of life in jail.

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