DoD contractor gets 23 years for leaking info to Hezbollah-linked boyfriend

She was wanting for love in very incorrect locations.

A Pentagon linguist as soon as hooked up to a particular ops navy facility in northern Iraq was sentenced Wednesday to 23 years in jail for leaking the names of informants and different secret data to a boyfriend with ties to the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.

Mariam Taha Thompson, 62, had pleaded responsible on March 26 to one rely of delivering nationwide protection data to help a international authorities.

“Thompson’s sentence reflects the seriousness of her violation of the trust of the American people, of the human sources she jeopardized and of the troops who worked at her side as friends and colleagues,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers stated in an announcement. “That Thompson passed our nation’s sensitive secrets to someone whom she knew had ties to Lebanese Hezbollah made her betrayal all the more serious. Thompson’s sentence should stand as a clear warning to all clearance holders that violations of their oath to this country will not be taken lightly, especially when they put lives at risk.”

Qassem Soleimani, the former commander of Iran's Quds Force.
Qassem Soleimani, the previous commander of Iran’s Quds Force.
AP

According to court docket paperwork, Thompson — who was born in Lebanon, however grew to become a US citizen in 1993 — was launched to the unidentified man by a member of the family in 2017. Though the 2 by no means met in individual, they typically spoke and texted one another utilizing an unidentified safe messaging app and Thompson decided she would marry the person after she retired. During these conversations, the person claimed to have a nephew who labored within the Lebanese authorities, in addition to to have been in touch with members of Hezbollah.

Following the US airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi Hezbollah department founder Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in January 2020, the paperwork state, Thompson’s boyfriend requested her to present details about informants who might have tipped off the US about Soleimani’s location. Thompson agreed to achieve this, believing that he would break off their relationship if she didn’t.

A damaged car, claimed to belong to Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, is seen near Baghdad International Airport, Iraq.
A broken automotive, claimed to belong to Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, is seen close to Baghdad International Airport, Iraq.
Ahmad Al Mukhtar by way of REUTERS

After her arrest, Thompson advised investigators that she would memorize details about the sources, write it down and transmit it by way of the video characteristic of the safe messaging app. The man advised Thompson that his purported Hezbollah contacts had been “pleased” with the data, in accordance to the paperwork, and even promised to introduce her to a Hezbollah navy commander when she joined him in Lebanon.

After the person requested extra detailed data, Thompson started patching collectively studies on sources utilizing data she cut-and-pasted from labeled information. She would then take footage of the studies and ship them utilizing the safe app. The paperwork say she would additionally screenshot messages from the informants themselves and ship them to her long-distance lover.

Thompson was arrested in February 2020. When officers searched her residing quarters, they discovered a handwritten be aware in Arabic hid beneath her mattress with details about Defense Department laptop methods and warning of a Defense Department goal.

Hezbollah fighters parade during a ceremony to honor fallen comrades, in Tefahta village, south Lebanon.
Hezbollah fighters parade throughout a ceremony to honor fallen comrades in Tefahta village, south Lebanon.
AP

Under questioning, Thompson admitted to passing the data to her boyfriend, however denied figuring out of any Hezbollah affiliation, suggesting as a substitute he may need been tied to the Amal political occasion in Lebanon — although she admitted she thought of the teams to be one and the identical.

“No, I don’t know about Hezbollah. I hate Hezbollah,” Thompson advised an agent, in accordance to an affidavit unsealed on the time. She described members of the group as “terrorists” and “like the octopus. They can reach anybody.”

The Washington Post reported that at Wednesday’s sentencing listening to, Thompson apologized for what she had performed, telling the decide: “I just wanted to have someone to love me in my old age, and because I was desperate for that love I forgot who I was for a short period of time.”

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah giving a televised address to mark the one-week death of Qassem Soleimani.
Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah giving a televised tackle to mark the one-week dying of Qassem Soleimani.
AL-MANAR TV GRAB HANDOUT/EPA-EFE

With Post wires

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