US Army translator charged with espionage for Hezbollah terrorist in whom she had a romantic interest
A US Army translator has been charged with giving classified information, including the names of American intelligence agents to an Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist in whom she had a romantic interest.
Muslima terrorist Mariam Taha Thompson, 61, formerly of Rochester, Minnesota, was charged with transmitting highly sensitive classified national defense information to a Muslim terrorist with connections to Hezbollah.
The information Mariam Taha gathered and transmitted included classified national defense information regarding active intelligence agents, including their true names, placing the lives of US military personnel in grave danger.
“While in a war zone, the defendant allegedly gave sensitive national defense information, including the names of individuals helping the United States, to a Lebanese national located overseas,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. “If true, this conduct is a disgrace, especially for someone serving as a contractor with the United States military. This betrayal of country and colleagues will be punished.”
Taha was arrested by FBI Special Agents on February 27, 2020, at an overseas US military facility, where she worked as a contract translator and held a Top Secret government security clearance.
The investigation leading to her arrest revealed that starting on or about December 30, 2019, a day after US airstrikes against Iranian-backed terrorists in Iraq, and the same day Iranian terror-fans stormed the US embassy in Iraq to protest those strikes, audit logs show a notable shift in Taha’s network activity on United States Department of Defense classified systems, including repeated access to classified information she had no need to access. Specifically, during a six-week period between December 30, 2019, and February 10, 2020, Taha accessed dozens of files concerning human intelligence sources, including true names, personal identification data, background information, and photographs of the human assets, as well as operational cables detailing information the assets provided to the United States government.
A court-authorized search of Taha’s living quarters on February 19, 2020, led to the discovery of a handwritten note in Arabic concealed under Taha’s mattress. The note contained classified information from the Department of Defense computer systems, identifying human assets by name, and warning a Department of Defense target who is affiliated with a designated foreign terrorist organization with ties to Hezbollah. The note also instructed that the human assets’ phones should be monitored.
The Muslima terrorist transmitted the classified information in the handwritten note to another terrorist, in whom she had a romantic interest. The FBI’s investigation revealed that Taha knew the terrorist was a foreign national whose relative worked for the Lebanese government, with connections to Hezbollah. Further investigation revealed that, in a separate communication, Taha also provided information identifying another human asset and the information the asset had provided to the United States, as well as providing information regarding the techniques the human assets were using to gather information on behalf of the United States.