DIA Analyst Jailed for Disclosing Secrets to Journalist Girlfriend

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A former employee of the United States Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has been imprisoned for passing classified information to journalists "for personal gain."

Henry Kyle Frese worked for the DIA from February 2018 to October 2019 as a counterterrorism analyst and held a Top Secret / Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance. 

The 31-year-old resident of Alexandria, Virginia, was found guilty of passing secrets relating to the weapons capabilities of some foreign countries to two journalists on multiple occasions in 2018 and 2019. 

According to court documents, Frese and a female reporter referred to as Journalist 1 were romantically involved and lived together at the same residential address from January 2018 to November 2018. 

United States government agencies have confirmed that in the spring and summer of 2018, a news outlet published eight articles, all authored by the same journalist (Journalist 1), that contained classified information regarding the capabilities of certain foreign countries’ weapons systems.  

These articles contained classified intelligence from five intelligence reports (the compromised intelligence reports) made available to appropriately cleared recipients in the first half of 2018. 

Frese, who followed Journalist 1 on Twitter, re-tweeted her posts announcing the publication of articles containing the classified information that he had searched for on a classified US government computer system and supplied to her. 

“Frese repeatedly passed classified information to a reporter, sometimes in response to her requests, all for personal gain,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers. 

Journalist 2 began texting and speaking to Frese after the pair were introduced by Journalist 1 in or about April 2018. Following the introduction, Frese stated in a Twitter direct message sent to Journalist 1 that he was “down” to help Journalist 2 if it would help the career of Journalist 1 “progress.”

Between mid-2018 and late September 2019, Frese orally transmitted information classified at the Top Secret level to Journalist 1 on 12 separate occasions and transmitted information classified at the Secret level to Journalist 1 on at least four occasions. 

Zachary Terwilliger, US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said Frese’s actions "had real consequences and caused actual harm to the safety of this country and its citizens.”

Frese was sentenced on June 17 to 30 months behind bars.

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