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  • Writer's pictureRobin Lyons

The Things She Did for Love

A single woman in her 60s can be lonely and desperate for love. At her sentencing, the 62-year-old single woman reportedly said,

“I just wanted to have someone to love me in my old age, and because I was desperate for that love, I forgot who I was for a short period of time.”

For over a decade, she was a Lebanon-born United States citizen who worked overseas for the U.S Department of Defense as a military linguist entrusted with highly sensitive, top-secret information until she fell in love online with a man whose family member was a high-ranking government official in Lebanon.

Two years into the online relationship, the USA launched airstrikes in Iraq, targeting a terrorist organization for their role in the September 11, 2001 attack in the Unites States. After the airstrikes killed leaders in the terrorist organization, the online boyfriend began asking the linguist for names of individuals who assisted the USA to target the group’s leaders. When she pleaded guilty to her crime in court, she admitted she knew she was dealing with a Lebanese-based militant group.

The linguist, using her classified national defense privilege, began sharing with her ‘boyfriend’ human intelligence files which included the true names of at least eight clandestine assets, their personal identification data, background information, and photographs of the people who provided information to the USA on the terrorist leaders. The information she provided to her ‘boyfriend’ also included communications between the assets and the U.S. Government, military targets, tactics, techniques and procedures.

Three years after the online romance began, the FBI arrested the linguist. She pleaded guilty to delivering classified defense information to aid a foreign government. A federal judge sentenced her to 23 years in prison. #counterintelligence #counterterrorism

A U.S. Attorney associated with the case said, in part,

“The defendant’s sentence reflects the seriousness of her violation of the trust of the American people, of the human sources she jeopardized, and the troops…”

Source: United States Department of Justice, BBC News

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