A former Pentagon linguist from the U.S. Department of Defense, who previously worked in a special ops military facility in northern Iraq, was sentenced to 23 years in prison for leaking classified information to her boyfriend with ties to the Lebanese terror outfit Hezbollah.
Mariam Taha Thompson leaked the names of informants and other secret details to her boyfriend and pleaded guilty to one count of delivering national defense information to aid a foreign government and wage conspiracy against the United States.
The 62-year-old Mariam was born in Lebanon and moved to the United States with her family at a young age and became a US citizen in 1993. She was introduced to an unidentified man from one of her family members in 2017 and though the two never met in person, they regularly kept in touch via phone calls and text messages.
The duo had also decided to marry when they meet and mostly used unidentified secure messaging app to not leave a trail of their messages. Her boyfriend claimed to have a nephew who worked in the Lebanese government who also had contacts with the top leaderships of Hezbollah.
The documents released by the Department of Defense shows the man asked Mariam to provide information about the informants who tipped off the US about Soleimani's location and Mariam agreed to share details fearing he might ditch her if she doesn't. Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi Hezbollah branch founder Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were killed in US airstrikes in January 2020.
During interrogation, Mariam confessed to investigators that she memorized all information related to the sources, wrote it down in a book at home and transmitted the information through video calls from a secure app. She revealed her boyfriend told her that Hezbollah leaders were 'pleased'' with her work.
Mariam also confessed she went through several classified files and memorized all information which she then leaked to her boyfriend. The now disgraced official stated that her boyfriend also promised to introduce her to a Hezbollah military commander when she visits him in Lebanon in the future for their wedding.
During the sentencing, Mariam apologized to the judge saying she leaked classified information only so that she can be loved and was blinded by it. ''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,'' reported the Washington Times.
Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said in a statement that Mariam violated the trust of the American people by supporting the enemy. ''Thompson's sentence reflects the seriousness of her violation of the trust of the American people, of the human sources she jeopardized and of the troops who worked at her side as friends and colleagues.''