An FBI analyst with top-secret security clearance illegally took & held US national-security documents related to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, cyber-security & more in her home for years, the FBI have revealed.
This FBI employee allegedly stole the top-secret documents, then kept them in her home for over a decade.
Kendra Kingsbury, who was working in the FBI’s Kansas City Division until being put on leave in Dec. 2017, has been indicted by a US Federal Grand Jury for allegedly routinely removing numerous documents from their safekeeping at the office, over & again during Jun. 2004 to Dec. 15, 2017.
“The breadth & depth of classified national security information retained by the defendant for more than a decade is simply astonishing,” stated Alan Kohler, Junior Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counter-Intelligence Division, in a statement.
“The defendant, who’s well trained in handling classified information, put her country’s sensitive secrets at risk. The FBI will go to great lengths to investigate individuals who put their own interests above US national security, including when the individual is an FBI employee,” explains the indictment.
Kingsbury was an Intelligence Analyst for over 12 years in Kansas City, until she was suspended. She had been assigned to several different FBI “squads” during that time, dedicated to areas including illegal drug trafficking, violent crime, violent gangs & Counterintelligence. The US Federal indictment charges Kingsbury with 2 counts of having unauthorised possession of documents relating to the national defence.
Count 1 of the Federal Indictment relates to documents classified at the secret level that deal with counterterrorism, counter-intelligence & cyber-threats. They include details on the FBI’s nationwide objectives & priorities, including specific open investigations across multiple field offices.
“In addition, there are documents relating to sensitive human source operations in national security investigations, intelligence gaps regarding hostile foreign intelligence services & terrorist organisations, & the technical capabilities of the FBI against counterintelligence & counter-terrorism targets,” outlines the indictment.
The 2nd count concerns efforts to collect intelligence on terrorist groups, including information about al-Qaeda members in Africa & a suspected associate of bin Laden.
“Kingsbury was not authorised to remove & retain these sensitive government materials, nor did she have a need to know most, if not all, of the information contained in those materials,” the charge alleged.
“Kingsbury knew the unauthorised removal of classified materials & transportation & storage of those materials in unauthorised locations risked disclosure & transmission of those materials, & therefore could endanger the national security of the US & the safety of its citizens.”
Assistant US Attorney General, John Demers, described Kingsbury as a classic insider threat to data security.
“As an intelligence analyst for the FBI, the defendant was entrusted with access to sensitive government materials,” he commented. “Insider threats are a significant danger to our national security, & we will continue to work relentlessly to identify, pursue & prosecute individuals who pose such a threat.”
If convicted, Kingsbury could face 10 years in prison & a $250k fine.