Written by Shannon Vavra
A grand federal jury has charged an FBI employee with stealing classified documents and keeping them at home between 2004 and 2017, the FBI announced Friday.
The employee, Kendra Kingsley, allegedly took documents detailing the FBI sources and methods the FBI uses to counter cyber threats, as well as those it uses in its counterterrorism and counterintelligence work, according to the indictment. . Some of the documents detail specific details of investigations at various field offices, details of human sources and gaps in information on foreign intelligence services, according to the indictment.
The documents also detail the technical capabilities the FBI uses in counterintelligence and counterterrorism work.
In some cases, the documents contained information about al-Qaeda members and emerging terrorist threats in Africa, as well as about an alleged associate of Osama bin Laden, the FBI said.
Kingsley worked for the FBI division in Kansas City as an intelligence analyst, but was not allowed to withdraw the documents in question, the FBI said. Kingsley was charged earlier this week and the charge was dissolved Friday after her arrest and court appearance.
“The breadth and depth of classified national security information held by the defendant for more than a decade is simply astonishing,” Alan Kohler, deputy deputy director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, said in a statement.
The Justice Department has prosecuted other U.S. government employees for illegally retaining classified documents that contained information on U.S. national defense issues. Hal Martin, a former National Security Agency contractor, was sentenced to nine years in federal prison in 2019 for stealing 50 terabytes of documents, some of which touched CIA sources and NSA capabilities. Just last year a former FBI special agent was accused of stealing delicate government documents and keeping them at home.
“As an FBI intelligence analyst, the defendant was commissioned to access sensitive government materials,” John Demers, deputy attorney general for the Justice Department’s National Security Division, said in a statement. . “Privileged threats pose a significant danger to our national security and we will continue to work tirelessly to identify, prosecute and prosecute the people who pose this threat.”
The FBI has long been concerned about inside information threats and in 2018 collaborated with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to establish an updated framework to guide the National Insider Threat Task. Force (NITTF) of the United States government. Last month, the NITTF issued guidelines on protection against privileged threats to critical infrastructure entities, including those operating on the U.S. power grid, telecommunications networks, and hospitals.
“Given the resources that foreign adversaries devote to exploiting or choosing privileged within the organizations they seek to penetrate, internal threats will be a lasting part of the threat and risk landscape for most critical infrastructure entities during in the coming years, ”the guide notes.