An American-Lebanese Defense Department linguist pleaded guilty for delivering national defense information to aid a foreign government, the United States Department of Justice announced.
63-year-old Mariam Taha Thompson worked as a US military contract linguist in Iraq and was “entrusted with a top-secret government security clearance.”
Between 2017 and February 2020, she had been communicating with a person she believed to be a wealthy and well-connected Lebanese national with apparent links to Hezbollah.
She grew romantic interest with him over a messaging app, despite having never met him in person, and had intentions of marrying him.
She admitted to knowing that his nephew worked in the Lebanese Interior Ministry and that he was a Shia Muslim with contacts with members of Hezbollah. On one occasion he had bragged about receiving a ring from Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.
According to court documents, her lover was very upset and emotional after the assassination of Iranian Quds Force General Qassem Soleimani in January 2020.
He requested she provides “them” with information about the people who helped the U.S. target the killed general.
“[She] understood “them” to be Lebanese Hizballah, including an unnamed high-ranking military commander of [Hezbollah].”
She claimed to have cooperated out of fear that he would end up not marrying her and was later told that his contacts were pleased with the information she provided.
She was arrested by the FBI on Feb. 27, 2020, and on Friday, March 26, 2021, she pleaded guilty to leaking highly sensitive information with Hezbollah, which is a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.
Now, she is facing a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.