An Ethiopian-American contractor has been arrested on espionage fees, the Justice Division mentioned

By | September 22, 2023

Washington – The US Division of Justice introduced on Thursday the arrest of a contractor working for the US authorities on espionage fees, accusing him of offering confidential info to a international nation that he downloaded and printed from his work’s pc system.

Abraham Teklo Lemma, initially from Ethiopia, had a top-secret safety clearance and entry to categorized info by means of 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 pictures to the international authorities, based on courtroom paperwork.

The courtroom 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 12 months 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 stories, copied info from them and downloaded them onto CDs and DVDs.

Lima faces fees of offering nationwide protection info to help a international authorities and conspiring to take action, in addition to knowingly retaining nationwide protection info. It was not instantly clear whether or not he had an lawyer who might converse on his behalf.

The Justice Division mentioned that Lima, 50, of Silver Spring, Maryland, had obtained US citizenship.

In addition to the supplies prosecutors say Lima offered, he additionally communicated with a international official who assigned him to offer info on particular subjects of curiosity to the nation. They mentioned army points, corresponding to command facilities and the actions of insurgents who have been preventing towards the federal government, based on an affidavit from an FBI agent.

When the official informed Lima final September that it was time for him to proceed supporting him, the affidavit says, Lima responded: “Roger that!”

The State Division mentioned in a press release that it had discovered that Lima might have improperly eliminated categorized info from its programs throughout a 60-day inside safety overview, following the April arrest of a Massachusetts Air Nationwide Guard member on fees of leaking top-secret army paperwork on a social networking web site. Media platform.

The ministry mentioned it’s going to proceed to implement the suggestions of that overview to enhance its safety of confidential info.

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