A contractor for the Pentagon has been charged with providing classified U.S. intelligence to a Lebanese national connected with terrorist group Hezbollah, the Justice Department announced on Wednesday.
The department alleges Mariam Taha Thompson, 61, began transmitting the classified intelligence around December 30, when Iraqi militiamen stormed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Thompson is a linguist who at the time was working at a U.S. special forces base in Erbil in northern Iraq.
The classified “files contained classified national defense information including true names, personal identification data, background information, and photographs of the human sources, as well as operations cables detailing information the human sources provided to the United States government,” read an FBI affidavit filed in the case.
Thompson was arrested on February 27, and was due to appear in court on Wednesday. On February 19 FBI agents searched Thompson’s Erbil residence and discovered documents under her mattress with the names of three U.S. intelligence assets, as well as a warning for the target of one of those assets.
“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 wrote in a press release.
The December 30 protests at the U.S. Embassy began after American airstrikes on Iran-backed militias in Iraq. Those airstrikes followed the killing of an American contractor by Iran-backed militias.
On January 2 the protests at the embassy were called off. That same night, President Trump ordered the killing of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad International Airport.