• Wednesday, May 27, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:08 am

Pentagon linguist exposed US informants in Iraq

  • Published at 07:45 pm March 5th, 2020
Pentagon-linguist-exposed-US-informants-in-Iraq
A handout picture received from the US embassy in Iraq on December 31, 2019, shows American soldiers taking position around the embassy in the capital Baghdad, after supporters and members of the Hashed al-Shaabi military network breached the outer wall of the diplomatic mission during a rally to vent anger over weekend air strikes that killed pro-Iran fighters in western Iraq AFP

An indictment said Mariam Taha Thompson, 61, formerly of Rochester, Minnesota, was a contract linguist with a 'top secret' security clearance who began working with US Special Forces in Erbil, Iraq in mid-December

A US military translator who was based in Iraq was charged Wednesday in Washington federal court with passing the names of US informants to people linked to Lebanon's Hezbollah.

An indictment said Mariam Taha Thompson, 61, formerly of Rochester, Minnesota, was a contract linguist with a "top secret" security clearance who began working with US Special Forces in Erbil, Iraq in mid-December.

It said that one day after US airstrikes December 29 on installations of an Iraqi Shia militia allied with Iran, Thompson began accessing US military computer files with the identities of US sources and information they had provided.

After Thompson was arrested on February 27, she admitted to investigators that she passed the information on the informants, together with a warning for a Hezbollah-linked target of US military intelligence, to a Lebanese national whom she had "a romantic interest in," according to the charges.

The Lebanese national is related to a Lebanese government official and "has apparent connections to Hezbollah," the Justice Department said in a statement.

"Thompson 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," the Justice Department said.

Thompson was charged with transmitting national defence information to representatives of a foreign government - Hezbollah of Lebanon - the maximum penalty for which is life imprisonment.

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