National Security

DOD Linguist Who Fell In Love, Gave Sensitive Info To Hezbollah Member Gets Sentenced To 23 Years

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A former contract linguist at an overseas U.S. military facility was sentenced Wednesday to 23 years in prison for feeding classified national defense information to a Lebanese national with whom she had fallen in love.

Mariam Taha Thompson, 62, of Rochester, Minnesota, had pleaded guilty Mar. 26 to transmitting information to an unindicted co-conspirator, whom she knew had a family member in the Lebanese Ministry of the Interior, according to a March press release by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

Thompson was reportedly entrusted with sensitive information stored at a special operations task force facility in Iraq, where she was assigned in December 2019, according to the DOJ. (RELATED: DOD Linguist Pleads Guilty To Feeding Top Secret Government Information To Hizballah After Falling In Love)

Around the same time, a series of U.S. airstrikes were launched, targeting designated Iranian-backed terrorist organization “Kata’ib Hizballlah.” The operation culminated in the Jan. 3 assassination of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani and the founder of Kata’ib Hizballah, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Thompson’s co-conspirator requested her to provide “them” with information about the human assets of the U.S. military involved in the assassination of Soleimani. She later admitted that she understood “they” to be Lebanese Hezbollah.

The defendant then handed over classified information detailing the identities of at least 10 U.S. targets, at least eight clandestine human assets, and multiple tactics, techniques and procedures, according to the DOJ.

Thompson was arrested on Feb. 27, 2020, in what was characterized as a “dedicated work of the FBI, the U.S. Intelligence Community.”

“Thompson’s sentence reflects the seriousness of her violation of the trust of the American people, of the human sources she jeopardized and of the troops who worked at her side as friends and colleagues,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers said Wednesday.