The trial took six days, and the jury took but three hours on June 13 to convict Leatrice Malkia De Bruhl-Daniels a former Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) special agent on multiple felony counts.

De Bruhl-Daniels, the Department of Justice (DoJ) tells us, was assigned to Dubai, UAE. There she met and befriended a Syrian businessman, Nadal Diya. Diya was also a resident in Dubai. Their relationship became intimate, and as a result of the close bonds of affection, she opted to break the trust that she enjoyed from both NCIS and the United States, sharing with Diya classified information, including the fact he and others were the target of a U.S. counterterrorism investigation.

During her relationship with Diya, he provided gifts, money, and parties in her honor and hired De Bruhl-Daniels adult son for four months with his company to her in exchange for information on Diya’s U.S. visa status. When she made inquiries, she was waved off by her State Department colleagues and told to steer clear of Diya.

She chose an alternative path.

De Bruhl Daniels Can’t seem to tell the truth

De Bruhl-Daniels, a nine-year veteran special agent of NCIS held a Top Secret security clearance, and access to sensitive compartmented information. There are a number of items required of all individuals who enjoy the trust of the United States by virtue of their national security clearance to which De Bruhl-Daniels failed to adhere.

First, she ignored the fact that she had entered into a close and continuing relationship with Diya. A relationship in which bonds of trust and intimacy had been formed. The next failure is tied to her Departure Briefing form, which she filed prior to her departing Dubai. On the form she again omitted her relationship with Diya. She also noted that she was “not aware of any classified or sensitive information being compromised.”

She was also alleged to have prepared Diya, the target of federal criminal and counterterrorism investigations, for his interview with federal agents. When De Bruhl-Daniels was interviewed about her relationship with Diya, she obfuscated and dissembled, when she should have told the truth. To trigger her memory, she was shown her own phone messages which she had sent to Diya:

  • “I’m deeply attracted to you, I ultimately want the best for you and pray those investigators see you like I do.”
  • “I gave them no more than what I could to emphasize your innocence”
  • “since I put my neck out there” (context was her hope he hadn’t lied to her).

What’s next for De Bruhl Daniels

De Bruhl- Daniels is looking at many years in prison as each of the four obstructions of justice accounts carries the potential for 20 years, the six false-statements convictions carry up to five years each, with the bribery conviction carrying two years.


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Christopher Burgess (@burgessct) is an author and speaker on the topic of security strategy. Christopher, served 30+ years within the Central Intelligence Agency. He lived and worked in South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Central Europe, and Latin America. Upon his retirement, the CIA awarded him the Career Distinguished Intelligence Medal, the highest level of career recognition. Christopher co-authored the book, “Secrets Stolen, Fortunes Lost, Preventing Intellectual Property Theft and Economic Espionage in the 21st Century” (Syngress, March 2008). He is the founder of