“He would go down the rabbit hole with some idea or another, he would get very intensely focused on something, but then move onto something else, so I would describe him as someone with a range of interests though all of them tied back to information systems,” who, like others who spoke to BuzzFeed News about Martin, called him by his nickname, Hal.“On the one hand, I want to say, ‘no way, did Hal do what they seem to be saying he did,’” he added. “But on the other, he had his quirks. He was really serious about his interests, he would suck up all the information to be had about this topic or that… You could say he liked to show off what he knew.”Martin, a retired navy officer, was working as a contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton at the NSA at the time of his arrest. His work, much of which was with an elite offensive team of government hackers, gave him access to some of the government’s most classified information. His colleagues said he relished the job, and was constantly researching and reading up on the latest work to be published by his colleagues in the national security and cybersecurity world.
Southern Poverty Law Center
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