A former CIA officer, who helped track down and capture a big terror suspect, was charged Monday with repeatedly disclosing classified information to journalists, including the name of a covert CIA officer and information revealing the role of another CIA employee in classified activities, the Justice Department said.
The charges were filed in fed court in Alexandria, Va., against former CIA agent John Kiriakou.
Kiriakou, 47, of Arlington, Va., was a CIA intelligence officer between 1990 and 2004, serving at headquarters and in various classified overseas assignments.
The government alleged in a four-count criminal complaint that Kiriakou made illegal disclosures about two CIA employees and their involvement in classified operations to two journalists on multiple occasions between 2007 and 2009.
In one instance, Kiriakou allegedly disclosed the name and contact information of an employee, identified in the complaint as “Officer B,” whose participation in an operation to capture and question terrorism subject Abu Zubaydah in 2002 was then classified, authorities said.
Authorities alleged that Kiriakou leaked the information prior to a June 2008 front-page story in The New York Times disclosing Officer B’s alleged role in the Abu Zubaydah operation.
“Safeguarding classified information, including the identities of CIA officers involved in sensitive operations, is critical to keeping our intelligence officers safe and protecting our national security,” said Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement.