USA identifies suspect in major leak of Central Intelligence Agency hacking tools

A man walks across the seal of the Central Intelligence Agency in the lobby of CIA headquarters in McLean Virginia.                        Alex Wong Getty Images

A man walks across the seal of the Central Intelligence Agency in the lobby of CIA headquarters in McLean Virginia. Alex Wong Getty Images

Rather, he is being charged with operating a server that contained a 54GB container of child abuse content (we're not going to label it as "pornography" out of respect for adult entertainment performers).

According to court documents reviewed by The Associated Press on Tuesday, government prosecutors say Joshua Adam Schulte of NY is a target in the investigation of the theft of hacking tools the Central Intelligence Agency used to spy overseas.

Schulte is reportedly being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents reportedly searched his Manhattan home a week after the WikiLeaks published its first Vault 7 dispatch in March 2017.

An assistant USA attorney, Matthew Larouche, claimed during a court hearing in January that "the government immediately had enough evidence" to investigate Schulte as a suspect in the Vault 7 leaks. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.

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Despite searching the suspect's NY apartment, prosecutors say they now lack the evidence to charge Schulte.

A former CIA engineer who was charged with possession of child pornography is also accused of leaking classified agency documents to Wikileaks.

Schulte's father, Roger, said he was scared to death.

With more than 8,000 CIA documents published to date, according to a defense attorney at the January hearing, the Vault 7 series came as a major embarrassment to United States intelligence officials.

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In documents, prosecutors allege that they found a large cache of child pornography on a server that was maintained by Schulte.

According to the report, Schulte worked for the the CIA's engineering development group until 2016, a position that would have given him access to the thousands of agency documents that were handed over to WikiLeaks in 2017.

Schulte said in the statement that he joined the intelligence community to fulfill what he saw as a patriotic duty to respond to the attacks of September 11, 2001. It is not clear whether the government is pursuing contractors as part of the leak investigation, but prosecutors have not mentioned anyone other than Schulte in court proceedings. The statement said he later reported "incompetent management and bureaucracy" at the CIA to the agency's inspector general and a congressional oversight committee.

Schulte, who has launched a Web page to raise money for his defense and post articles critical of the criminal-justice system, claims that he initially provided assistance to the FBI's investigation.

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