ISIS fighters stand guard at a checkpoint in the northern Iraq city of Mosul..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
FBI employee Daniela Greene who worked as a translator for the Federal Bureau of Investigations went rogue and married a key ISIS operative she was assigned to investigate, CNN revealed on Tuesday.
According to CNN, Greene, who had a top-secret security clearance, traveled to Syria in 2014 where she married ISIS operative Denis Cuspert, a former German rapper known as a major online recruiter for the terror group who was on the radar of counter-terrorism authorities in two continents.
38-year-old Greene is a Czechoslovakia native who spent some of her childhood in Germany and was initially recruited for work at the FBI as a contract linguist in 2011. In January 2014, she was assigned to work "in an investigative capacity" on the case of Cuspert, a German terrorist referred to in court records as "Individual A."
Cuspert's true identity was exposed by CNN who reported that that his identity was confirmed by a source familiar with the investigation. The ISIS recruiter appeared in several propaganda videos, including one in which he could be seen holding a severed human head. He reportedly also threatened former US President Barack Obama and praised Osama Bin Laden in a rap song.
Greene had reportedly lied to the FBI about her trip to Syria, where her husband lived under the name of Abu Talha al-Almani. Citing federal court records, CNN revealed that Greene had alerted her husband to the fact that he was under investigation in a dangerous breach of national security.
Weeks after her marriage to Cuspert Greene fled back to the US, where she was immediately arrested and where she pleaded guilty to making false statements regarding national terrorism and was sentenced to two years in federal jail.
Greene was charged by Justice Department prosecutors with a relatively minor offense and then requested a reduced sentence in exchange for cooperation. Court-ordered secrecy maintains a gag on the full details of the agreement between the former FBI translator and the courts.
Last summer Greene was released, despite the fact that her short term in prison was significantly already shorter than punishments given to defendants charged with similar terrorism-related offenses.
Greene declined to comment on the incident, only willing to disclose to CNN that "if I talk to you my family will be in danger."
In an official statement to CNN, the FBI said that as a result of Greene's case the bureau took "several steps in a variety of areas to identify and reduce security vulnerabilities. The FBI continues to strengthen protective measures in carrying out its vital work."
More details regarding this shocking case are expected to emerge, and security experts in the US and worldwide have harshly criticized the domestic intelligence and security service, claiming that if such cases as Greene's were made possible then others could follow. Critics also pointed to the obvious gap in the agency's supposedly unmatched system and raised the alarming possibility that there are even more instances of betrayal that the state and/or the public have yet to be made aware of.