Published: Thu, February 14, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

U.S. Accuses Former Air Force Officer Of Spying For Iran

U.S. Accuses Former Air Force Officer Of Spying For Iran

Monica Witt, who was also a former counterintelligence officer for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, defected to Iran in 2013, according to the indictment, and remains at large.

She defected to Iran in 2013 and is believed to be there now.

Demers further explained, "Four Iranian cyber hackers are also charged with various computer crimes targeting members of the USA intelligence community who were Ms. Witt's former colleagues".

"It is a sad day for America when one of its citizens betrays our country", the assistant attorney general for national security, John Demers, said on Wednesday.

The event, though, has received a tepid response overseas, as some objected to the its anti-Iran focus.

They declined to say to what extent these disclosures compromised US intelligence operations targeting Iran. "Thanks for giving me the opportunity". She was also charged with helping Iranian intelligence services in targeting her former co-workers, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday.

Witt is charged with two counts of delivering military information to a foreign government and one count of conspiracy.

"On or about July 3, 2013, Witt wrote Individual A, 'I think I can slip into Russian Federation quietly if they help me and then I can contact WikiLeaks from there without disclosing my location", the indictment said.

Jay Tabb, the FBI's executive assistant director for national security, said Witt was ideologically driven.

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Prosecutors say Ms Witt had been granted the highest level of US security clearance and worked in the US Air Force from 1997 to 2008.

On August 28, 2013, she finally defected to Tehran, where she took the name Fatemah Zahra and, according to the indictment, began disclosing classified information to Iranian officials, including the identity of a covert United States operative.

"Witt's primary motivation appears to have been ideological".

She attended the same conference the following year and was hired by an unnamed individual to assist in the filming of an anti-American propaganda commercial.

"I loved the work, and I am endeavoring to put the training I received to good use instead of evil", she allegedly told her IRGC contact.

She successfully defected in August 2013, after providing a resume and "conversion narrative" to her contact. Different Iranian organizations attempted numerous approaches to gain access to their computers. She was also a Defense Department contractor until 2010. "Today's announcement also highlights our commitment to vigorously pursue those who threaten US security through state-sponsored hacking campaigns".

The US Department of Treasury also announced economic sanctions against two Iranian companies today -New Horizon Organization, for its support of the IRGC; and Net Peygard Samavat Company, a company that developed and attempted to install malware on US government personnel' computers under the coordination of the IRGC.

Four Iranian nationals-Mojtaba Masoumpour, Behzad Mesri, Hossein Parvar and Mohamad Paryar-were charged with those activities in the same indictment as Witt.

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