US arrests counterterrorism analyst over leaks to journalists

The US Justice Department alleged in an indictment unsealed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 09 October 2019

US arrests counterterrorism analyst over leaks to journalists

  • Henry Kyle Frese had passed to a journalist, with whom he was apparently romantically involved, appeared in at least eight different news stories

WASHINGTON: A counterterrorism analyst with the US Defense Intelligence Agency was arrested on Wednesday over charges he had leaked classified materials about a foreign country’s weapons system to two journalists in 2018 and 2019, the US Justice Department said in federal court filings on Wednesday.
Information that 30-year-old Henry Kyle Frese had passed to a journalist, with whom he was apparently romantically involved, appeared in at least eight different news stories, the Justice Department alleged in an indictment unsealed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The Justice Department did not identify the journalists or their news outlets, but said they each worked for a different outlet owned by the same parent company.
This marks the sixth federal case involving leaks of classified information in a little over two years. A crackdown on leakers was initiated by the Trump administration in 2017 and led by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The first case to emerge during the Trump administration involved Reality Winner, a former intelligence analyst who divulged a report about Russian interference in the 2016 election to the Intercept news website.
Another similar case earlier this year involved former intelligence analyst named Daniel Everette Hale, who was also charged in connection with leaking information to the Intercept related to a US drone strike program.
Until the criminal case against Winner, no one had been charged with leaking classified information since 2013, said John Demers, the head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, in a press call on Wednesday to announce the charges against Frese.


Afghan foreign minister tenders resignation

Updated 23 October 2019

Afghan foreign minister tenders resignation

  • Rabbani’s resignation came following differences with President Ashraf Ghani
  • The presidential palace has not yet commented on Rabbani’s resignation news

KABUL: Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani tendered his resignation on Wednesday following differences with President Ashraf Ghani, who Rabbani accused of sidelining him.
His departure may not affect Ashraf’s already weak government because Rabbani was disqualified from office by Parliament three years ago, and served as acting minister on the basis of an order by the president.
Rabbani is an ally of Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, who shares power with Ghani and is the president’s election rival.
Rabbani’s resignation comes weeks ahead of the possible formation of a new government if an election winner is announced.
“During my time, the working environment in the National Unity Government was not good from the start,” he wrote in his resignation letter.
“I witnessed parallel structures being created and have seen essential institutions — key pillars of the system — pushed to the side.”
The presidential palace had no immediate comment about Rabbani’s resignation or his allegations, which according to his supporters include being barred from attending conferences and events overseas that fall under his remit.
Part of Rabbani’s differences with Ghani surfaced openly earlier this month when Rabbani’s office welcomed Pakistani efforts regarding the Afghan peace process, which included a warm reception in Islamabad to a visiting Taliban delegation. The Afghan presidential palace openly opposed Pakistan’s warm welcome of the delegation.