Ex-US Air Force Intelligence Agent Charged With Spying for Iran

Monica Witt 39 a former U.S. Air Force officer indicted for aiding Iran is seen in this FBI

"This case underscores the dangers to our intelligence professionals and the lengths our adversaries will go to identify them, expose them, target them, and, in a few rare cases, ultimately turn them against the nation they swore to protect", said John Demers, assistant attorney general for national security.

A former U.S. Air Force counterintelligence specialist who defected to Iran has been charged with providing classified information to the Islamic Republic, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday by the Justice Department.

Monica Elfriede Witt, who defected to Iran in 2013, is accused of helping Iranian officials target USA counterintelligence officers operating in that country.

When warned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that trip that Iranian intelligence services were trying to recruit her, Witt allegedly promised that she would not talk about her counterintelligence work if she returned to Iran.

The indictment suggests that Witt defected for ideological motives, and it quotes emails between Witt and an Iranian agent, referred to as Individual A, prior to her defection.

Prosecutors allege that shortly after defecting to Iran, she handed over information on her colleagues in order to cause "serious damage" to the United States.

That year she travelled to Iran to attend an anti-America conference sponsored by the Revolutionary Guard-related New Horizon Organization. According to authorities, she started working on behalf of Tehran by disclosing classified information and compiling research on US intelligence personnel she previously worked with. She also gave Iranians the code name and classified mission of a special U.S. Department of Defense operation.

Scanning Younger Women Could Prevent Breast Cancer
The report, published by The Lancet, said that data from 2,899 women screened between 2006 and 2015 was examined. Researchers have hailed the study an "enormous breakthrough", in the treatment of cancer .

In 2012, after Witt travelled to Iran for a conference, the FBI warned her that she could be a targeted for recruitment by that country's government, and Witt told the bureau she would refuse to provide information about her military work, according to the indictment.

The US Treasury Department also announced sanctions against an Iranian company accused of organizing conferences that served as a platform to recruit Witt, and against another Iranian company suspected of having participated in the cyberattacks.

"She chose to turn against the United States and shift her loyalty to Iran", said Jay Tabb, the FBI's executive assistant director for national security. For me? Well, I loved the work, and I am endeavouring to put the training I received to good use instead of evil. Iran's nuclear program was the target of the U.S.

According to the FBI, Ms Witt was last seen in southwest Asia in July 2013.

While in Iran, she also allegedly converted to Islam during a television segment after identifying herself as a U.S. veteran, and delivered several broadcasts in which she criticised the US.

What's the state of US-Iran relations?

Related:

Comments

Latest news

NASA to make final attempt to contact Mars Opportunity Rover
And as the weather gets colder on the planet, the machine is unlikely to get the boost that will kick-start it into action. A press conference about the state of the machine will be broadcast online on Nasa's website and YouTube channel at 7pm.

Trump installs room-sized golf simulator in White House
In addition to regularly playing the game, Trump owns a total of 16 golf courses in both the U.S. and overseas . The simulator, which takes up an entire room, allows players to golf on some of the world's most famous courses.

Chris Cornell’s Children Accept Posthumous Grammy for Best Rock Performance
It was Cornell's final original material recorded before he took his own life on May 18, 2017. Throughout his career, Cornell had been nominated for a Grammy 16 times.

Mauro ICARDI loses Inter captaincy as Samir HANDANOVIC named new captain
Inter Milan have stripped Mauro Icardi of the club captaincy, with goalkeeper Samir Handanovic taking over the role, according to Sky in Italy.

Woman wanted in chair tossing off balcony surrenders to police
The short video, which has been seen more than 850,000 times on Facebook alone, ends before the chair lands on the highway. The police reportedly knew the woman's identity and claimed that no one was injured in the tossing incident.

BTC Vanishes into Cold Wallet amid QuadrigaCX Turmoil
Back to the rest of the report. "[Ernst and Young] is working with management to retrieve this cryptocurrency from the various cold wallets, if possible".

South Africa vs Sri Lanka 1st Test Day 1 in Durban
Temba Bavuma and captain Faf du Plessis rode out the early storm and gradually started to change the momentum in a 72-run partnership.

Calls to ban app that allows 'control of women' in Saudi Arabia
Human Rights Watch's Rothna Begum told INSIDER: "Apple and Google have rules against apps that facilitate threats and harassment". Saudi Arabia's human rights record has been under heavy scrutiny since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi late past year .

Apple Health Records are Coming for Veterans
Apple said it's the first health record sharing agreement with the VA of its kind. Welcoming VA providers into the fold is a huge addition.

CM: PSG lead Arsenal and Chelsea in race for Kessie
Central midfielder Kessie has been in good form for AC Milan this season and he has scored three goals and made one assist in 21 Serie A games for the Italian club.

Richard Gere and wife welcome baby boy
Richard Gere , who is 69 years old, and wife Alejandra Silva, 35, welcomed their first kid recently. A few years ago, she told Hola!, "Our karma was attracted the moment we saw each other".

Who Is Anthony Edwards? Five-star 2019 Prospect Commits to Georgia
Originally a member of the 2020 recruiting class, Anthony Edwards recently made a decision to join the 2019 grouping instead. A slight ratings adjustment or even one commitment or decommitment could completely shift the placement of both programs.

Pregnant Jessica Simpson's Toilet Mishap Doesn't Flush Her Sense Of Humor
Heavily pregnant Jessica Simpson now has a broken toilet seat to add to the list of her troubles during her third pregnancy. At least she can laugh about it, right? Her fans immediately responded to her posts, saying how relatable she was.

Home where Jeff Bezos launched Amazon for sale
He's now the richest person on earth, with a net worth of $132 billion, but back when he started the company he was renting. But the oversized mailbox that Bezos installed to receive lots of big catalogs is still there, Sullivan said.

Could the oil Industry in India See Higher Profits?
One of the issues for Indian oil companies is their requirement to sell below market to subsidize prices in their home country. The US pulled out of the agreement earlier this year as President Trump claimed he was looking for a better deal.

Other news