Former FBI agent jailed over leak of failed bomb plot

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 November, 2013, 11:08pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 November, 2013, 4:07am


A former FBI agent was jailed for more than three years for disclosing confidential national security details about a foiled bomb plot to an Associated Press reporter.

Former FBI explosives specialist Donald Sachtleben, who was also sentenced to eight years in prison in an unrelated child pornography case, pleaded guilty in September in both cases.

Sachtleben, 55, was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison - eight years and one month in the child pornography case and a consecutive three years and seven months in the national security case.

President Barack Obama's administration came under sharp criticism from lawmakers and media rights groups over its probe of the leak, after investigators confiscated phone records of reporters at Associated Press. But prosecutors said the case underlined the government's determination to hold leakers accountable for spilling secrets.

Sachtleben was charged after investigators traced to his laptop about 30 sexually explicit images and video files of youths generally below the age of 12.

According to prosecutors, Sachtleben "avidly traded in child pornography", using e-mail accounts to distribute files.

The national security leak disclosed a CIA operation that disrupted a plot last year by al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen to detonate a bomb on a plane bound for the United States.

Sachtleben revealed the information just nine days before his arrest in the state of Indiana.

"Defendant Donald John Sachtleben betrayed this nation and the most vulnerable members of our society," a court filing last month said.