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US Intel Contractor Charged with Espionage, Faces Possible Death Penalty

Photo illustration of a computer hacker via pixabay images

50-year-old Abraham Teklu Lemma, who was a U.S. government contractor, has been arrested and charged with espionage after leaking national defense information to an African country.

Lemma was working as an IT help desk technician when he transferred classified defense intelligence, including satellite images, maps, and notes to an intelligence official in Africa.

Lemma is a naturalized U.S. citizen of Ethiopian descent from Silver Spring, Maryland.

U.S. officials did not specify where the documents were sent, but it’s suspected to be Ethiopia.

Lemma faces the death penalty or up to life in prison. The minimum sentence is ten years.

According to the affidavit, Lemma copied, removed, and retained secret and top-secret information from at least 85 intelligence reports.

Lemma and the foreign official discussed reports on military activities.

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