World

DOJ: She Knew US Secrets and Gave Them to Iran

DOJ: She Knew US Secrets and Gave Them to Iran

USA authorities on Wednesday charged former Air Force intelligence officer Monica Witt with helping Iran launch a cyber-spying operation that targeted her former colleagues after she defected from the United States.

Jay Tabb, the FBI's top national security official, said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had warned Witt before her defection that she was a vulnerable target for recruitment by Iranian intelligence but that Witt had ignored those warnings.

They declined to say to what extent these disclosures compromised US intelligence operations targeting Iran.

Mesri, Masampour and Parvar also face sanctions for their involvement with Net Peygard, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

"It is a sad day for America when one of its citizens betrays our country", said Assistant Attorney General John Demers at a briefing to make public the charges.

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

Jay Tabb, the FBI's executive assistant director for national security, said investigators believe Witt shared information that "could cause serious damage to national security", though he declined to provide specific details of the operations she allegedly disclosed.

US officials said Monica Witt, who worked for years in US Air Force counterintelligence, had an "ideological" turn against her country and defected in 2013, turning over information on US intelligence operations against Tehran. During her time working for the government, Witt had access to "classified information, including details of ongoing counterintelligence operations, true names of sources, and the identities of USA agents involved in the recruitment of those sources", according to the indictment.




Provided with housing and computer equipment by the Iranian government, Witt tracked down US counterintelligence agents she used to work with on Facebook, the indictment said, and disclosed the classified identity of at least one of those agents, according to the charges.

Now the Treasury claims the conferences were also an intelligence gathering and recruiting ground for Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. From there, her task was to use social media to search for other American counterintelligence officials, and produce "target packages" on them for Iran.

Billing itself as an "anti-imperialist, anti-Zionist" think tank, New Horizon organized conferences in Iran that cast a critical eye on United States and Israeli policy worldwide and stoked accusations of anti-Semitism from Western critics.

Witt was working as a contractor in 2012 when she was offered an all-expenses-paid invitation to a "Hollywoodism" conference that was sponsored by the Iranian government and that promoted anti-Western propaganda, according to the Justice Department.

That summer, a dual U.S.

Iranian hackers then used that information to target those individuals with cyberattacks, the Justice Department said. It said she replied: "Well, I loved the work, and I am endeavoring to put the training I received to good use instead of evil".

In August 2013, Witt reached out to an individual with ties to Iranian intelligence offering her services. "Thanks for giving me the opportunity".

She also conducted online research, including on Facebook, to create information "packages" on her former colleagues in the USA intelligence community.


  • The Mars One project has been declared bankrupt

    The Mars One project has been declared bankrupt

    Despite bankruptcy, Mars One has been keeping up appearances on Twitter with nary a mention of having gone belly up. Mars One consisted of two arms: the non-profit Mars One Foundation and the for-profit Mars One Ventures .
    Bebe Rexha Stuns In Monsoori Dress At 2019 Grammys: See The Look

    Bebe Rexha Stuns In Monsoori Dress At 2019 Grammys: See The Look

    The best new artist nominee didn't take "no" for an answer when she was called " too big" by many designers a few weeks ago. Among other awards, Bebe Rexha and H.E.R. are nominated for Best New Artist at the 61st Grammy Ceremony.
    Refugee 'medivac bill' passes Australia's lower house

    Refugee 'medivac bill' passes Australia's lower house

    A fishing boat carrying Vietnamese asylum seekers neared the shore of Australia's Christmas Island , taken in 1993. It is the first time in over seven decades that the incumbent government lost the vote on its own legislation.
  • Jeremy Lin says he's 'hyped' to join Toronto Raptors in Instagram post

    Jeremy Lin says he's 'hyped' to join Toronto Raptors in Instagram post

    VanVleet was hurt in the second quarter of Saturday's (Sunday, PHL time) win at NY . Coach Kenny Atkinson said Carroll should return Wednesday at Cleveland.
    England knock fight out of West Indies

    England knock fight out of West Indies

    Bravo was next to go, nicking a lifter from Anderson to Root, and the West Indies was 10-3 and Anderson had 3-5. Anderson removed opener John Campbell for a first-ball duck, with Moeen Ali taking a high catch at gully.
    Newborn Found in Middle of Road

    Newborn Found in Middle of Road

    A newborn baby just hours old was found abandoned on a California country road in frigid temperatures, according to authorities. It was lying on its back, covered in its own feces, which had leaked through its onesie, he said.
  • Meghan Markle's being vilified the same way Diana was: George Clooney

    Meghan Markle's being vilified the same way Diana was: George Clooney

    Clooney is a friend of Meghan's and he and his wife, Amal Clooney, attended Meghan and Prince Harry's wedding previous year . Samantha Markle labelled her sister a "narcissist" following the release of Meghan's five-page letter to her father.
    Fifth Pebble Beach victory makes Mickelson's day

    Fifth Pebble Beach victory makes Mickelson's day

    Sam Saunders, whose grandfather Arnold Palmer was among the Pebble Beach owners, scooped up hail and tossed it like a snowball. After playing the 17th and 18th on Monday, Mickelson admitted Casey was right . "A phenomenal round of golf, " Casey said.
    Renault F1 team reveals its auto , has big hopes for improved engine

    Renault F1 team reveals its auto , has big hopes for improved engine

    So we know that there is a direct connection between how short you can reduce your lead time and your competitiveness those are the sort of things that we need to do.
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 names officially confirmed, prepare to be astonished

    Samsung Galaxy S10 names officially confirmed, prepare to be astonished

    Samsung acknowledges this on its preorder page , noting that "we know you know what is coming soon", which is a cute touch. The Galaxy S10 series will also come with reverse wireless charging along with faster wireless and wired charging.
    Reward Offered In Search For Killer Of New Rochelle Woman

    Reward Offered In Search For Killer Of New Rochelle Woman

    Sanchez says she desperately tried to pry for more information, but her daughter refused to specify why she felt that way. According to The Journal, Reyes had taken her iPad, iPhone, clothes and bed sheets with her when she disappeared.
    Rare black leopard spotted in Kenya -- a first in Africa since 1909

    Rare black leopard spotted in Kenya -- a first in Africa since 1909

    According to National Geographic , the extremely rare animal has melanism, where the body produces too much pigment. Will captured a spotted leopard on one of the camera traps, which could be the black leopard's dad.