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US Air Force employee charged with leaking classified information on Russia’s war via dating site

A retired US Army lieutenant colonel was arrested for allegedly transmitting classified defense information on Russia’s war against Ukraine via a foreign online dating platform.
US Department of Justice
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US Air Force employee charged with leaking classified information on Russia’s war via dating site

A civilian employee of the US Air Force assigned to the US Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base was arrested on 2 March for allegedly transmitting classified defense information related to Russia’s war against Ukraine on a foreign online dating platform, the US Department of Justice reported on 4 March.

David Franklin Slater, 63, retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel, who worked in a classified space at USSTRATCOM and held a Top Secret security clearance, is accused of sharing information classified as “secret” with a person not authorized to receive it.

According to the charging documents, Slater attended USSTRATCOM briefings on Russia’s war against Ukraine, which were classified up to top secret//sensetive compartmented information (TS//SCI), and transmitted classified information he learned from those briefings to his co-conspirator on the dating website. The co-conspirator, who claimed to be a female living in Ukraine, regularly requested sensitive and classified information from Slater, referring to him as her “secret informant love” and “secret agent.”

“In response to these requests, Slater indeed provided classified NDI to her, including regarding military targets and Russian military capabilities relating to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the department stated.

Slater is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on 5 March in the District of Nebraska. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count of conspiracy to transmit and the transmission of defense information.

Earlier, German authorities launched an investigation after Russian state media leaked audio from a conference call between high-ranking German military officers. The call, held over the video platform WebEx, involved a discussion of potential missile and other weapons transfers to support Ukraine in its war with Russia.

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