FBI employee accused of storing classified documents at home

WASHINGTON (AP) — An FBI employee has been indicted on charges that she stored classified documents and other national security information at home over the course of more than a decade, the Justice Department said Friday.

Kendra Kingsbury, 48, is accused of having unauthorized possession of a broad swath of sensitive government documents, including materials that describe sources, methods and operations and that contain information about operatives such as a suspected associate of Osama bin Laden.

Kingsbury worked as an intelligence analyst in the FBI’s Kansas City office for 12 years until her suspension in December 2017. The two-count indictment, filed in the Western District of Missouri, alleges that during that time, Kingsbury illegally removed documents she was granted access to at work and stored them at home.

Though Kingsbury held a top-secret security clearance and was assigned to squads covering a range of crimes and threats, she did not have a “need to know” the information in most of the documents, prosecutors say.

According to the indictment, the records Kingsbury stored at home included details about specific investigations, sensitive human source operations, intelligence gaps with regard to terrorist organizations and foreign intelligence services, and information about the FBI’s technical capabilities. The materials also discuss al-Qaida members, including a suspected bin Laden associate, prosecutors say.

The indictment does not provide a reason for why Kingsbury mishandled the documents, nor does it accuse her of having transmitted the information to anyone else. The Justice Department declined to elaborate beyond the indictment on Friday.

“The breadth and depth of classified national security information retained by the defendant for more than a decade is simply astonishing,” Alan E. Kohler Jr., the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, said in a statement.

The case underscores the risk to national security posed by “insider threats,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers, the Justice Department’s top national security official, said in a statement.

Court documents do not identify a lawyer for Kingsbury, of Dodge City, Kansas. A message left at a phone number connected to her was not immediately returned.

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