Second member of the intel community busted for allegedly leaking info to The Intercept
Terry James Albury was charged by the Department of Justice under the Espionage Act this week.
Albury, who worked as a counterterrorism liaison for the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport was, “charged this week by the Justice Department’s National Security Division with one count of “knowingly and willfully” transmitting documents and information relating to national defense to a reporter for a national news organization. Albury was also charged with a second count of refusing to hand over documents to the government,” according to MPR.
The Justice Department has vowed to crack down on leaks that it contends undermine national security.
Albury’s attorneys, JaneAnne Murray and Joshua Dratel, said in a statement that their client, the only African-American FBI field agent in Minnesota, was “driven by a conscientious commitment to long-term national security and addressing the well-documented systemic biases within the FBI.”
“Terry Albury served the U.S. with distinction both here at home and abroad in Iraq,” the statement read. “He accepts full responsibility for the conduct set forth in the Information.”
The Intercept may have inadvertently outed their source (and themselves) by filing a FOIA request for information that was not yet known to the public. MPR again:
In January 2017, The Intercept published a series titled “The FBI’s Secret Rules,” based on Albury’s leaked documents, which show the depth and broad powers of the FBI expansion since 9/11 and its recruitment efforts.
The Intercept made two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the FBI in late March 2016. The requests contained specific information identifying the names of documents that were not available to the public. In addition, the FBI identified about 27 secret documents published by The Intercept between April 2016 and February 2017.
“The FBI believes that the classified and/or controlled nature of the documents indicates the News Outlet obtained these documents from someone with direct access to them,” according to the warrant. “Furthermore, reviews of the FBI internal records indicate ALBURY has electronically accessed over two thirds of the approximately 27 documents via trusted access granted to him on FBI information systems.”
One of The Intercept’s FOIA requests, dated March 29, 2016, asked for copies of a specific document classified as secret. The document, titled Confidential Human Source Assessing, gives tips for agents on how to cultivate informants.
Ten months later, the news outlet posted the same document it requested to its website and to DocumentCloud, a repository of public documents.
The FBI said it believes that The Intercept had a copy of the document and others before making the FOIA request. The Intercept then “used its knowledge of such documents to create the FOIA requests,” according to the warrant.
According to a review done by the FBI, Albury and 15 other individuals had also accessed the same document from an FBI classified network between August 2011 and March 29, 2016, the date of The Intercept’s FOIA request.
The search warrant said Albury took 11 screenshots of the document on Feb. 19, 2016, one month and 10 days before The Intercept’s FOIA request.
This is the second time a member of the intelligence community was busted for allegedly leaking information to the website, The Intercept. Reality Winner, an NSA Contractor, was charged with leaking information to The Intercept. Only six people had printed the information Winner passed to The Intercept and of those six, Winner was the only person in communication with the press.
The Intercept published a statement saying they do not discuss their sources.
We understand that there is an Espionage Act prosecution underway against an alleged FBI whistleblower in Minnesota, who is accused of leaking materials relating to the FBI’s use of confidential human sources. News reports have suggested that the prosecution may be linked to stories published by The Intercept. We do not discuss anonymous sources. The use of the Espionage Act to prosecute whistleblowers seeking to shed light on matters of vital public concern is an outrage, and all journalists have the right under the First Amendment to report these stories.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.