Oct 9, 2019

Defense intelligence employee arrested for leaks on foreign weapons system

The Department of Justice announced Wednesday the arrest and indictment of Henry Kyle Frese, a counterterrorism analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency, who allegedly shared data on a foreign country's weapons systems with a reporter he was carrying on a relationship with.

Why it matters: “Frese betrayed the trust placed in him by the American people—a betrayal that risked harming the national security of this country. This is one of six unauthorized disclosure cases the Department has charged in just over two years, and we will continue in our efforts to punish and deter this behavior," said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, according to a DOJ press release.

Background: According to the DOJ, in April of last year, Frese told the journalist he was in a relationship with that he was "down" to help that journalist's coworker with a story about the weapons system if it would help the first journalist's career.

  • The 2 journalists worked for different outlets owned by the same conglomerate. They also collaborated on individuals articles.
  • The journalist and Frese lived at the same address as of last year, and the relationship was clear from social media posts.
  • The DOJ claims to have recorded Frese discussing the leaks on the phone.

Federal officials told reporters that Frese had no reason to access information on the system, and did so solely to help the reporters.

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