World Media

USA counter-intelligence officer charged with spying for Iran

Share
The U.S. government accused Monica Witt 39 of revealing highly-classified information to Tehran.             
    FBI

A former counterintelligence agent with the U.S. Air Force has been accused of revealing classified information to Iran.

A U.S. Air Force veteran and former counterintelligence agent was charged Wednesday with spying on behalf of the Iranian government.

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.

She also created packages for Iranian intelligence officers to target confidential U.S. officials working within the country.

The indictment also alleges that Witt planned to go to Russian Federation in 2013 to contact WikiLeaks without disclosing her location.

The indictment alleges that between January 2014 and May 2015, she created "target packages", or dossiers on her former counter-intelligence colleagues, including the identity of an undercover agent and a secret USA counter-intelligence operation against a particular target, which is not named.

Aided by Individual A, Witt eventually met Iran's ambassador in Tajikistan, who gave her money to fly to Dubai.

All the five suspects named in the indictment are still at large, believed to be located in Iran.

She defected to Iran in 2013 and presumably still lives there, USA officials said. "Thanks for giving me the opportunity", according to the indictment.

The DOJ reports Witt provided members of Iran's intelligence service with a copy of her resume back in 2013.

The indictment also charges four Iranians with conspiracy, attempts to commit computer intrusion and aggravated identity theft as part of an effort in 2014 and 2015 to target Witt's former colleagues and co-workers in the USA intelligence community.

The highest court of the United Nations rejected a USA claim that it did not have the jurisdiction to rule on parts of the case, paving the way for the trial to continue.

The indictment includes snippets of dialogue between Witt and the person who recruited her her, identified only as Individual 1.

Witt served in the Air Force from 1997 to 2008 before separating and becoming a civilian contractor. Her work for the government ended in 2010. In short, she worked up dossiers about them that outlined who they were and what kind of work they might have been doing.

The hackers, using imposter Facebook personas, then targeted those same officials and were even able at one point to join a private Facebook group composed primarily of retired government workers, the indictment says.

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

Later that year she worked with Individual A to make a video critical of the United States, and the two continued to communicate.

Last November, US President Donald Trump re-imposed all sanctions on Iran that had been suspended due to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement.

Share