A linguist who worked for the Defense Department has been exposed as an operative for the Iranian-backed terror group Hezbollah.
Mariam Taha Tompson has been charged and accused of passing “highly sensitive classified national defense information” to the terror group. According to the charge, Thompson put together a dossier of US government information “regarding active human assets, including their true names,” putting the assets and their families at risk.
“By compromising the identities of these human assets, Thompson placed the lives of the human assets and U.S. military personnel in grave danger,” the Justice Department said in a statement on Thompson’s case.
The Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C Demers explained, “While in a war zone, the defendant allegedly gave sensitive national defense information, including the names of individuals helping the United States, to a Lebanese national located overseas. If true, this conduct is a disgrace, especially for someone serving as a contractor with the United States military. This betrayal of country and colleagues will be punished.”
FBI Officials arrested Thompson late last month in an overseas US military facility where she was working as a linguist holding a top-secret security clearance. When agents searched her living area Arabic-language documents containing US classified materials were found.
The Justice Department reports:
“Starting on or about December 30, 2019, audit logs show a notable shift in Thompson’s network activity on United States Department of Defense classified systems, including repeated access to classified information she had no need to access.”
for six weeks after that “notable shift” began, Thompson “accessed dozens of files concerning human intelligence sources, including true names, personal identification data, background information, and photographs of the human assets, as well as operational cables detailing information the assets provided to the United States government.” She transmitted the data to a Lebanese individual tied to Hezbollah “in whom she had a romantic interest.”
Thompson will see a US magistrate judge this week and the maximum penalty for espionage is life in prison.