WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A counterterrorism analyst with the U.S. Protection Intelligence Company was arrested on Wednesday over fees he leaked categorised supplies a couple of overseas nation’s weapons system to 2 journalists in 2018 and 2019, the U.S. Justice Division mentioned in federal court docket filings on Wednesday.
A police reserving mugshot exhibits U.S. Protection Intelligence Company analyst Henry Kyle Frese after his arrest by U.S. federal authorities on fees that he leaked categorised supplies a couple of overseas nation’s weapons system to 2 journalists, in a picture that was launched by the Alexandria SheriffÕs Workplace in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S. on October 10, 2019. Alexandria SheriffÕs Workplace/Handout by way of REUTERS
Data that 30-year-old Henry Kyle Frese handed to the journalists appeared in a minimum of eight completely different information tales, the Justice Division alleged in an indictment unsealed within the U.S. District Courtroom for the Jap District of Virginia.
The 2 reporters to whom he leaked data have been colleagues, and one among them was apparently romantically concerned with Frese, the FBI mentioned in court docket filings.
These information tales relied on 5 separate intelligence studies issued between March and June 2018.
Reuters couldn’t instantly decide if Frese had obtained a lawyer within the case.
This marks the sixth federal case involving leaks of categorised data in a bit of over two years. A crackdown on leaking was initiated by the Trump administration in 2017 and led by then-Legal professional Common Jeff Periods.
The primary case to emerge throughout the Trump administration concerned Actuality Winner, a former intelligence analyst who divulged a report about Russian interference within the 2016 election to the Intercept information web site.
One other comparable case earlier this yr concerned a former intelligence analyst named Daniel Everette Hale, who was additionally charged in reference to leaking data to the Intercept associated to a U.S. drone strike program.
Till the felony case in opposition to Winner, nobody had been charged with leaking categorised data since 2013, mentioned John Demers, the pinnacle of the Justice Division’s Nationwide Safety Division, in a name with reporters on Wednesday to announce the costs in opposition to Frese.
“Our investigators and prosecutors nationwide will proceed to commit themselves to media leak instances with a view to shield our nation from the menace posed by the uncommon intelligence group official who breaks his or her oath,” he mentioned.
In the course of the course of its investigation, the FBI realized that Frese was a follower on one of many reporter’s public Twitter feeds, and that Frese shared a residential deal with with the journalist from August 2017 by way of August 2018.
The reporter with whom he lived is referred to in court docket data as “Journalist 1.”
“It seems that they have been concerned in a romantic relationship for some or all of that time period,” the FBI agent wrote in a sworn assertion.
The Justice Division didn’t determine the 2 journalists to whom he allegedly leaked or their information retailers, however mentioned they labored for 2 separate retailers owned by the identical father or mother firm.
Public Twitter messages referenced within the court docket filings point out that Journalist 1 is Amanda Macias, a nationwide safety reporter for CNBC.
The filings additionally reference public Twitter messages that point out Journalist 2 is Courtney Kube, a nationwide safety correspondent for NBC. Each CNBC and NBC are owned by Comcast.
Macias authored or co-authored with Kube various articles throughout the timeframes cited within the court docket filings that reference U.S. intelligence studies and weapons methods of overseas nations resembling China and Russia.
Neither reporter was accused of any wrongdoing. Neither instantly responded to requests for remark. An NBC spokesman declined to remark.
Within the spring of 2018, the FBI alleges Journalist 1 known as Frese on his cellphone. The subsequent day, Frese began trying to find an intelligence report involving matters unrelated to his work tasks.
Seven days later, the reporter despatched him a direct message on Twitter asking if he would converse with “Journalist 2,” who was a extra senior and seasoned reporter.
He replied he was “down” to assist Journalist 2 as a result of doing so would assist Journalist 1 “progress” in her profession.
Cellphone data present he communicated a number of occasions with each of them, together with on the identical day an article was printed containing categorised data from the intelligence studies, the FBI mentioned.
Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Andy Sullivan; extra reporting by Mark Hosenball; Enhancing by Bernadette Baum and Rosalba O’Brien