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A federal judge is expected to hear new arguments on Friday about why Martin should be released

Martin had been employed by eight different contracting companies, prosecutors say

CNN —  

An ex-NSA contractor who is being held without bail stole the names of “numerous” covert US agents, federal prosecutors revealed Thursday.

Prosecutors said in a court filing that the theft endangered the lives of the agents abroad and “risks exposure of American intelligence operations,” and asked a judge to keep Harold Martin III in jail in Baltimore while he awaits trial.

Last Friday, US District Magistrate Judge A. David Copperthite found that Martin posed a flight risk and detained him without bail. Martin’s defense attorneys challenged that order this week, asking for Martin to be released with 24/7 electronic home monitoring and no internet access.

Martin was arrested in August after federal authorities uncovered a mountains of highly classified intelligence information in his car, home and shed. Material, they said, that had been accumulated over many years.

Martin’s motivation remains unclear and federal authorities have not alleged that he gave or sold the information to anyone.

“He isn’t Edward Snowden,” public defender James Wyda argued at the hearing last Friday.

But the government’s latest filing Thursday highlights that Martin’s access to highly sensitive materials makes him a “prime target” for recruitment by foreign nations seeking to harm the US.

Martin worked for the National Security Agency through consulting firm Booz Allen as a government contractor. The firm announced Thursday that it has asked former FBI Director Robert Mueller to conduct an external review of the firm’s security, personnel, and management practices.

“We are determined to learn from this incident,” Booz Allen said in a statement.

A new district court judge in Baltimore will hear arguments on Martin’s detention on Friday morning.