The suspect had been granted top secret security clearance and access to the US classified systemsImage caption: The suspect had been granted top secret security clearance and access to the US classified systems
An Ethiopian-born US contractor who worked at the State and Justice departments has been arrested and charged with sending classified information to Ethiopia.
Abraham Teklu Lemma, 50, is accused of passing on classified information since last August to an official associated with Ethiopia’s intelligence service, the Justice Department said.
The department did not name the African country he was allegedly spying for, but it was identified by the New York Times and other US media outlets as Ethiopia.
He faces three charges, including gathering or delivering defence information to aid a foreign government and unauthorised possession of national defence information and willfully retaining it.
Mr Abraham, whose arrest last month was kept under seal until Thursday, is a naturalised US citizen of Ethiopian descent living in Silver Spring, Maryland.
He worked as an IT administrator for the Department of State, and as a management analyst for the Department of Justice. The suspect had been granted top secret security clearance and access to the US classified systems.
He could face the death penalty if convicted of espionage.