U.S. authorities have arrested and charged a former intelligence analyst over allegations that he illegally obtained and disclosed classified national defense information, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement on Thursday.
The analyst, Daniel Everette Hale, 31, of Nashville, Tennessee, had worked at the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and had been communicating with a reporter starting in 2013, the department said.
Classified documents were later published by the reporter's news outlet, it alleged, without naming the publication or the journalist.
Representatives for Hale could not be immediately reached for comment.
Hale, who had been enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, faces five criminal counts each carrying a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, the Justice Department said.
According to the department, Hale began communicating with the reporter while assigned to the NSA in 2013. A year later, as a defense contractor with NGA, he printed out six classified documents that were unrelated to his work with the agency and were later published by the reporter's news outlet, it alleged.