DN - Defence Notes

Former USAF agent charged with defecting to Iran

14th February 2019 - 12:15 GMT | by ​Agence France-Presse in Washington

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The US Justice Department charged a former US Air Force intelligence official on 13 February 2019 with spying for Iran, saying she exposed a fellow US agent and helped the Revolutionary Guard target her former colleagues for cyber attacks.

US officials said Monica Witt, 39, who worked a decade in air force counterintelligence, had an ‘ideological’ turn against her country and defected in 2013, turning over information on US espionage operations against Tehran.

The US also indicted four Iranians working for the Revolutionary Guard who, using information Witt provided them, targeted her former colleagues in US intelligence with malware and phishing scams in hopes of accessing their computer networks. The Justice Department has issued arrest warrants for Witt and the four Iranians, who all remain at large. She is believed to be in Iran, officials said.

In a parallel action, the US Treasury announced sanctions on the New Horizon Organization, a Revolutionary -Guard group that had invited Witt to Tehran in 2012, and a separate company tied to the hacking effort.

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