The Justice Department announced that authorities have arrested and charged a former intelligence analyst with leaking classified documents to a reporter about military operations against Al-Qaeda.
According to an indictment unsealed Thursday in the Eastern District of Virginia, police arrested 31-year-old Daniel Hale in Nashville, Tenn., where he will appear in federal court later in the day. Hale faces five counts, including obtaining and disclosing classified communications intelligence information and theft of government property.
Prosecutors say Hale was serving in the Air Force when he was assigned to the NSA and deployed to Afghanistan to work as an intelligence analyst in 2013. When he left the military, he worked as a defense contractor for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. In his work at both positions, he held a top secret security clearance, the indictment says.
The indictment alleges that in 2014, while at the NGA, Hale printed six classified documents unrelated to his work there, all of which were later published by the news outlet of a reporter Hale had established a relationship with during his time in the Air Force and had contacted hours after printing out the classified documents.
The indictment charges that Hale printed out 36 documents from his top secret government computer, 23 of which were unrelated to his work there and 17 of which were provided to the reporter and published either entirely or partially by the news outlet. Of the 17 published documents, 11 were marked top secret or secret, according to the indictment.
Among the documents published by the outlet were a document describing “a military campaign targeting Al-Qaeda overseas,” a PowerPoint outlining the effects of that campaign, a top secret intelligence report on an Al-Qaeda operative and NSA information on specific named targets.
The news outlet mentioned in the indictment is never named, but appears to be The Intercept, which in October 2015 published an extensive report about the Obama administration’s drone operations in the war on terror, citing leaked documents sourced to a government whistleblower.
Additionally, the indictment alleges that authorities found Hale in possession of two thumb drives — one of which contained part of a classified document Hale had attempted to delete, and the other which contained a software and operating system promoted by the news outlet on its website as a way to anonymously leak documents.
If convicted, Hale faces a maximum of 10 years in prison per charge.
The post Former intelligence analyst charged with leaking classified documents to reporter appeared first on Politico.