WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. authorities contractor has been arrested on espionage costs and accused of offering categorized data to a international nation that he downloaded and printed from his work laptop system, the Justice Division stated Thursday.
Abraham Teklo Lemma, initially from Ethiopia, had a top-secret safety clearance and entry to categorized data via contract positions with the Departments of State and Justice.
He’s accused of utilizing an encrypted messaging utility to switch maps, images and satellite tv for pc photographs to the international authorities, based on court docket paperwork.
The court docket papers didn’t specify which nation Lima was accused of spying for, and a Justice Division spokesman declined to remark. However the paperwork point out that he has traveled forwards and backwards over the previous yr and a half to a rustic the place he has household ties.
The New York Occasions, which first reported the arrest, recognized Ethiopia because the nation for which Lemma allegedly spied.
Prosecutors say he accessed dozens of intelligence experiences, copied data from them and downloaded them onto CDs and DVDs.
Lima faces costs of offering nationwide protection data to help a international authorities and conspiring to take action, in addition to knowingly retaining nationwide protection data. It was not instantly clear whether or not he had an lawyer who may converse on his behalf.
The Justice Division stated that Lima, 50, of Silver Spring, Maryland, had obtained US citizenship.
Moreover the supplies prosecutors say Lima offered, he additionally communicated with a international official who assigned him to offer data on particular matters of curiosity to the nation. They mentioned navy points, comparable to command facilities and the actions of insurgents who had been preventing towards the federal government, based on an affidavit from an FBI agent.
When the official advised Lima final September that it was time for him to proceed supporting him, the affidavit says, Lima responded: “Roger that!”
The State Division stated in a press release that it had realized that Lima could have improperly eliminated categorized data from its techniques throughout a 60-day inner safety evaluation. Due to April’s arrest A member of the Massachusetts Air Nationwide Guard is accused of leaking top-secret navy paperwork on a social media platform.
The ministry stated it would proceed to implement the suggestions of that evaluation to enhance its safety of confidential data.
Comply with Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP