Following the arrest earlier this year of a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard for the unauthorized disclosure of classified national defense information, in mid-April 2023, the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) undertook a self-initiated 60-day Internal Security Review of the Department of State’s Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) network, systems, and applications to identify opportunities to strengthen how we safeguard data in the TS/SCI environment. During this review, information was uncovered indicating that a Department of State information technology contractor may have removed, retained, and transmitted classified national defense information without authorization.

Today, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the arrest of the contractor and unsealed criminal charges against him.  The Department of State commends the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and DOJ for the diligent work that led to an arrest and charges in this matter. The Department pledges its continued full support to the investigation. In coordination with the Intelligence Community (IC), the Department will also review the national security and foreign policy implications of this matter.

We thank the dedicated personnel in INR, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, FBI, DOJ and across the IC who have been working tirelessly to support of the U.S. government’s response to this counterintelligence incident. Moving forward, the Department will continue to implement recommendations from the Internal Security Review to strengthen how we provide access to TS/SCI information, enhance continuous security monitoring, and protect sensitive information to minimize the risk of similar incidents in the future.