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US gov’t intelligence analyst arrested for leaking secrets to the media

Sensitive and classified documents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eboni Reams/Released)
October 10, 2019

An analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was arrested on Wednesday on charges of leaking classified information to two different journalists.

Henry Kyle Frese, 30, a DIA analyst who held a top-secret security clearance was arrested on his way to work, according to the Washington Examiner. Frese disclosed information about Chinese and Russian weapons systems to two separate journalists and reportedly acted in an effort to further a romantic relationship with one of those journalists.

On multiple occasions between mid-April and early-May 2017, Frese reportedly accessed an intelligence report describing “a certain foreign country’s weapons systems” that was also outside of the focus of his job’s duties, as part of his romantic endeavor with one of the reporters.

Amanda Macias, a CNBC national security reporter, had written articles and posted tweets that matched up with the DOJ’s charging documents assessing Frese’s leaks.

Frese also appeared in an October 2017 instagram photo with Macias, at the Germany Embassy.

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On April 27, 2018, Macias also sent Twitter messages to Frese, requesting he share additional with a second journalist at another outlet; a sign authorities took to suggest Frese and Macias had maintained frequent communication over the course of a year.

He apparently agreed to Macias’ request on the condition it would help her in her career. A few days later, Frese again accessed a government system for additional information and spoke to Macias for about seven minutes and the other journalist for around half an hour. Macias’ article went so far as to include classified information which Frese also shared in a tweet.

Macias’ May 2, 2018 article, which quoted “sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity” to report “China has quietly installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three of its fortified outposts west of the Philippines in the South China Sea.”

In total, DOJ investigators who monitored Frese’s communications found he had improperly accessed at least five intelligence reports, which guided Macias and the other journalist on stories about Chinese Rail Gun technology and Russian hypersonic gliders capable of carrying nuclear armaments.

Frese reportedly shared classified information with those reporters as recently as September of this year.

Macias, who the DOJ says wrote at least eight articles with Frese’s help was not named in the indictment and the DOJ has yet to say whether they will charge her.

According to charges filed by the DOJ, Frese began working as a DIA contractor in January 2017 and then became an official DIA employee in February of 2018. Throughout all that time, he had a top secret security clearance. According to the charges, Frese worked for the DIA up until October of 2019.

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According to the indictment, as part of Frese’s training for his security clearance, he had to know the regulations surrounding the handling of classified information as well as the “exceptionally grave damage” that could be caused by its release.