US counter-terror analyst arrested for leaking top secret intoPTI | Washington DC | Updated: 10-10-2019 00:37 IST | Created: 10-10-2019 00:35 IST
A counter-terrorism analyst at the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly leaking top secret information to journalists, officials said. Henry Kyle Frese, 30, of Alexandria, Virginia, was taken into custody when he arrived at work and faces two counts of revealing classified defense information, they said.
"Frese was caught red-handed disclosing sensitive national security information for personal gain," assistant attorney general John Demers told reporters. The Department of Justice did not reveal the content of the information allegedly leaked by Frese other than to say that it concerned a "foreign country's weapons systems." The identify of the two journalists to whom Frese allegedly provided the classified information was also not disclosed.
Frese was allegedly in a romantic relationship with one of the two reporters, according to the indictment handed down by a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia. Frese was a contractor with DIA from January 2017 to February 2018 and a DIA employee from February 2018 to October 2019 with top secret and secret security clearance, officials said.
DIA is the US military's intelligence service. In April or May of last year, Frese allegedly accessed an intelligence report "unrelated to his job duties on multiple occasions" and passed on information to a journalist, according to the indictment.
Frese's cellphone was being monitored and he was captured last month transmitting classified information to one of the two journalists, it added. "Frese allegedly disclosed highly classified national defense information, which puts our country and people at risk," FBI special agent Alan Kohler said. "He violated his oath to serve and protect the United States." Frese could face up to 10 years in prison for each count of transmitting classified information.