The FBI released a statement and politico reported that a former FBI contract linguist pleaded guilty to unlawfully providing classified documents to the host of an Internet blog who then published information derived from those documents on the blog.
Shamai Kedem Leibowitz, a.k.a., Samuel Shamai Leibowitz, 39, of Silver Spring, Maryland, pleaded guilty in federal court to a one-count information charging him with knowingly and willfully disclosing to an unauthorized person five FBI documents classified at the “Secret” level that contained classified information concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States. Under the plea agreement, the government and Leibowitz have agreed that a term of 20 months imprisonment is the appropriate sentence in this case.
From January 2009 through August 2009, Leibowitz was employed by the FBI as a contract linguist in an office in Calverton, Maryland. Leibowitz held a Top Secret security clearance and is an Israeli American dual citizen. More from Politico…
“After news of the charges against him broke, it took reporters only minutes to track down news articles reporting that Leibowitz was fired from a legal clerkship in Israel and was publicly chastised by an Israeli Supreme Court justice for leaking a judge’s private comments…
Experts were also puzzled that someone with a long history of public activism on polarizing issues would wind up working for U.S. law enforcement in a classified environment and be granted access to sensitive information…
Some lawyers said the top-secret clearance awarded to Leibowitz, who describes himself as an Israeli-American, was particularly puzzling because Americans who are also Israeli citizens frequently face clearance denials and delays because of concerns they might harbor an allegiance to Israel.”
The FBI said it would look at whether the clearance process was handled properly.
Does this signal a breakdown in the security clearance process?
Related Article: Dual Citizenship And Security Clearances, Foreign Influence and Security Clearances
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