A former US military translator pleaded guilty Friday of divulging classified information to a Lebanese national with suspected ties to the Lebanese Hezbollah, reported Voice of America.
Mariam Taha Thompson, 63, who worked as a contract linguist for the US military from 2006 to 2020, pleaded guilty to one count of delivering national defense information to aid a foreign government.
She faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. Her sentencing is scheduled for June 23.
Thompson, who was born in Lebanon and became a US citizen in 1993, was arrested in February 2020 at a US special operations base in Erbil, Iraq.
Prosecutors say she used her top-secret clearance to pass the names of US intelligence assets to the Lebanese national in whom she had a romantic interest and whom she believed would share the information with Hezbollah, reported VOA.
Hezbollah was designated as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997.
According to court documents, the unnamed Lebanese national, described as “wealthy and well-connected,” claimed to have received a ring from Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and had a nephew who worked in the Lebanese Ministry of Interior.
After a US air strike killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani in December 2019, the Lebanese national, her unindicted co-conspirator, asked Thompson to provide Hezbollah with information about the human assets who had helped the US target Soleimani, according to prosecutors.
Over a six-week period leading up her arrest in February 2020, Thompson provided the Lebanese national with the identities of at least 10 clandestine human assets; at least 20 US targets; and multiple tactics, techniques and procedures, according to the Justice Department.
“Thompson jeopardized the lives of members of the US military as well as other individuals supporting the United States in a combat zone when she passed classified information to a person she knew was connected to Lebanese Hezbollah, a foreign terrorist organization which intended to use the information to hurt this country,” Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers said in a statement.