National Security & Defense

Counterterrorism Analyst Arrested for Leaking ‘Top Secret’ Info to Journalist He Was Romantically Involved With

The Justice Department building in Washington, D.C., February 1, 2018 (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

The Department of Justice announced Wednesday that a counterterrorism analyst has been arrested for leaking classified information to members of the media, including one person with whom he was apparently romantically involved.

Law enforcement took Defense Intelligence Agency official Henry Kyle Frese, 30, into custody Tuesday morning when he arrived at work. He has been indicted in federal court in Virginia.

Frese, who had top-secret clearance, is accused of leaking classified material regarding a foreign nation’s weapons system to two reporters last year and this year.

One of the reporters Frese leaked to was involved in a romantic relationship with him at the time and even lived with him, according to prosecutors. She wrote at least eight articles based on information drawn from at least five leaked intelligence reports, the DOJ said.

“The unauthorized disclosure of TOP SECRET information could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave harm to the national security of the United States,” the department said in a statement.

While the reporters are not named, tweets attributed to the journalists in the indictment match those of CNBC reporter Amanda Macias and NBC News reporter Courtney Kube, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“Frese was caught red-handed disclosing sensitive national security information for personal gain,” John Demers, the head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division told reporters regarding the arrest.

The FBI tapped Frese’s phone as part of their investigation into the alleged leaks and he had contact with the journalists as recently as last month, according to the indictment.

“Henry Kyle Frese was entrusted with TOP SECRET information related to the national defense of our country,” stated G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Frese allegedly violated that trust, the oath he swore to uphold, and is charged with engaging in dastardly and felonious conduct at the expense of our country.”

Frese faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

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