Gen. Robert Ashley, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testifies during the Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing “Worldwide Threats” on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2018.
Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call, Inc.. | Getty Images
A counterterrorism analyst for the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency was arrested Wednesday on federal charges he leaked top secret and other classified information — including details of a foreign nation’s weapons systems — to two coworkers in 2018 and this season.
The employee, Henry Kyle Frese, 30, held top-secret clearance in the DIA, where he started as a builder in January 2017, and finally became a full-time worker.
Among those journalists who allegedly received confidential information from Frese had apparently been involved in a romantic relationship with him, police said.
That reporter ended up writing at least eight posts based on five endangered intelligence reports leaked by Frese, according to a criminal indictment. Frese retweeted a link to the initial article that reporter wrote based on information he had supposedly leaked into her, the indictment says.
“Frese was caught red-handed disclosing sensitive national security information for personal gain,” stated John Demers, assistant attorney general for national security.
An indictment alleges that Frese obtained classified intelligence reports, some that weren’t connected to his job responsibilities, in spring 2018 and supplied top-secret information about the other country’s weapons systems to a journalist who lived in the exact same Alexandria, Virginia, residential address as Frese.
The Justice Department stated that “based on reviews” of the public social networking pages of Frese and that reporter, “it appears that they were involved in a romantic relationship for some or all of that period of time” where Frese supposedly leaked the information for her.
“The unauthorized disclosure of TOP SECRET information could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave harm to the national security of the United States,” that the Justice Department said in a press release announcing Frese’s indictment at U.S. District Court in Virginia.
per week later Frese allegedly accessed among those intelligence reports, the first journalist delivered Frese a direct message on Twitter asking whether he would talk with another journalist, according to the department.
“Frese stated that he was ‘down’ to help Journalist 2 if it helped Journalist 1 because he wanted to see Journalist 1 ‘progress.'”
The identities of the reporters and their companies weren’t disclosed by authorities.
The indictment against Frese says that on Sept. 24, 2019, surveillance of Frese captured him on a cellphone telephone transmitting national defense information to the next reporter.
Those disclosures allegedly contained information classified as confidential, “meaning that the unauthorized disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to cause serious harm to the national security of the United States,” the department stated.
Frese faces a maximum potential sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted of all the two counts of wilful transmission of national defense information with which he had been charged.
“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,” Terwilliger said.
“This indictment should serve as a clear reminder to all of those similarly entrusted with National Defense Information that unilaterally disclosing such information for personal gain, or that of others, is not selfless or heroic, it is criminal.”