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Federal Contractor Charged With Espionage!

A Maryland man was charged with crimes of espionage and transmitting classified information to foreign agents on Thursday.

50-year-old Abraham Lemma, an Ethiopian-born citizen of the United States, allegedly provided information to foreign intelligence personnel from an undisclosed country between 2022-2023.

The former State Department and Department of Justice contractor is widely believed to have been transmitting the sensitive information to Ethiopia, though this has not been confirmed by U.S. authorities at this time.

One user presented a direct communication between Lemma and the foreign intel official in broken English:

“[i]t’s time to continue ur support.” Lemma responded, “Roger that!” In another chat, the foreign official praised Lemma’s efforts, stating “[a]lways this beautiful country have [sic] some special people who scarify [sic] their life to protect our proud history. You always remembered. It doesn’t matter the results.”

Naty Berhane Yifru presented excerpts from the DOJ filing and wrote: “Observing from the poorly constructed response written in English, it seems obvious that he was working for and transmitting this information to one of Abiy Ahmed Ali’s illiterate officials. (Possibly Abiy himself).”

Fox News provided more details:

The DOJ alleges that between December 19, 2022, and August 7, 2023, “Lemma copied classified information from Intelligence Reports and deleted the classification markings from them,” then took the materials, which had been classified as top secret and secret, from secure State Department facilities.

“The materials related to a specific country and/or geographic region.

Lemma accessed, copied, removed, and retained this information without authorization,” the DOJ said.

“If Ethiopia can plant a spy in the State Department with Top Secret clearance, imagine what China is doing to us,” one concerned America wrote.

CNN added:

On at least three occasions, court documents say, Lemma copied intelligence reports onto CDs and DVDs, downloaded multiple items classified as top secret or secret and deleted the classified markings on those documents.

He also sent classified information to an agent from the intelligence service in Ethiopia, including satellite imagery and documents over an encrypted messaging app, court documents say.


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