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FBI analyst arrested after taking home classified information on terrorism

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The seal of the F.B.I. hangs in the Flag Room at the bureau’s headquaters March 9, 2007 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Chip Somodevilla

FBI analyst arrested after taking home classified information on terrorism

May 21, 02:43 PM May 21, 02:43 PM

An FBI intelligence analyst was indicted and arrested after allegedly repeatedly removing national security documents related to human sources and sensitive methods, terrorist groups such as al Qaeda, and a variety of foreign threats and taking the records home over the course of a decade.

Kendra Kingsbury, 48, was publicly hit with the allegations Friday after the Tuesday indictment was unsealed, with the former FBI employee being arrested and appearing in front of a magistrate judge Friday. The Justice Department said the Dodge City resident worked as an intelligence analyst for a dozen years at the Kansas City Division of the FBI, where she held a top-secret security clearance, had access to classified information, and was assigned to squads working on counterintelligence, violent crime and gangs, and illegal drug running.

The unsealed indictment alleges Kingsbury “improperly removed sensitive government materials — including national defense information and classified documents” from June 2004 to December 2017 and that she “retained these materials in her personal residence.” Investigators did not accuse her of sharing or selling the information. Kingsbury was suspended by the FBI at the end of 2017, and separate court records indicate she filed for bankruptcy in Missouri in 2019.

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The indictment also said Kingsbury “was not authorized to remove and retain these sensitive government materials, including the National Defense Information and classified documents” and did not have a “need to know” related to “most, if not all, of the information contained in those materials.” The indictment said she “knew that she was not authorized to remove and retain the materials” but did so anyway.

“As an intelligence analyst for the FBI, the defendant was entrusted with access to sensitive government materials,” John Demers, the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s National Security Division, said on Friday. “Kingsbury is alleged to have violated our nation’s trust by stealing and retaining classified documents in her home for years. Insider threats are a significant danger to our national security, and we will continue to work relentlessly to identify, pursue and prosecute individuals who pose such a threat.”

The Justice Department said the first count against Kingsbury “relates to numerous documents classified at the secret level that describe intelligence sources and methods related to U.S. government efforts to defend against counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and cyber threats” including “details on the FBI’s nationwide objectives and priorities, including specific open investigations across multiple field offices” and “documents relating to sensitive human source operations in national security investigations, intelligence gaps regarding hostile foreign intelligence services and terrorist organizations, and the technical capabilities of the FBI against counterintelligence and counterterrorism targets.” The indictment lists 10 different national security documents ranging from 2008 to 2014 in this count, including a presentation, an email, an evaluation document, an intelligence bulletin, and a variety of intelligence notes.

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The DOJ said the second count against her “relates to numerous documents classified at the secret level that describe intelligence sources and methods related to U.S. government efforts to collect intelligence on terrorist groups” with documents including “information about al Qaeda members on the African continent, including a suspected associate of Osama bin Laden” and records “regarding the activities of emerging terrorists and their efforts to establish themselves in support of al-Qaeda in Africa.” The indictment notes 10 different records as part of this count, most of them internal FBI correspondence.

“The breadth and depth of classified national security information retained by the defendant for more than a decade is simply astonishing,” Alan Kohler Jr., the assistant director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, said Friday. “The defendant, who’s well trained in handling classified information, put her country’s sensitive secrets at risk. The FBI will go to great lengths to investigate individuals who put their own interests above U.S. national security, including when the individual is an FBI employee.”

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