US

Former US Air Force Officer Charged After Sharing Secrets With Iran

Courtesy FBI/Handout via REUTERS

Graeme Gallagher Contributor

Former U.S. Air Force Officer Monica Witt was charged on Wednesday by the Department of Justice with sharing government secrets with the Iranian officials.

Witt was helping create a cyber-hacking operation on fellow former agents, Reuters reported Wednesday.

The 39-year-old was charged with two accounts of delivering military information to a foreign government and one count of conspiracy, according to the unsealed indictment.

Monica Witt, 39, a former U.S. Air Force officer, indicted for aiding Iran, is seen in this FBI photo released in Washington, DC, U.S., February 13, 2019. Courtesy FBI/Handout via REUTERS

Monica Witt, 39, a former U.S. Air Force officer, indicted for aiding Iran, is seen in this FBI photo released in Washington, DC, U.S., February 13, 2019. Courtesy FBI/Handout via REUTERS

“Monica Witt is charged with revealing to the Iranian regime a highly classified intelligence program and the identity of a U.S. Intelligence Officer, all in violation of the law, her solemn oath to protect and defend our country, and the bounds of human decency,” said Assistant Attorney General John Demers in the indictment.

Witt worked for the Air Force and was a counterintelligence agent for 11 years where she had top-security clearance. After working for two years as a contractor, Witt traveled to Iran to attend a New Horizon Organization conference, which promoted anti-American propaganda. (RELATED: Trump Calls Out Iranian Regime For Producing ‘40 Years Of Failure’ On Revolution’s Anniversary)

Witt returned to another New Horizon Organization event in 2013 where she made the decision to emigrate to Iran. She successfully defected in August 2013.

After her defection, Witt allegedly proceeded to provide Iranian officials with the code name and classified mission details of the U.S. Department of Defense Special Access Program. (RELATED: Three Democrats Attended Private Dinner With Iran’s President And Louis Farrakhan)

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 04: Assistant U.S. Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers (2nd L), United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania Scott W. Brady (R), and FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Cyber Division Eric Welling (L) listen during a news conference to announce criminal charges on October 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 04: Assistant U.S. Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers (2nd L), United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania Scott W. Brady (R), and FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Cyber Division Eric Welling (L) listen during a news conference to announce criminal charges on October 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Additionally, in 2014, Witt created packages of information on former agents she worked with and sent them to Iranian hackers who worked for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. These hackers proceeded to make fake Facebook accounts to befriend Witt’s former agents and attempt to install spyware on their computer activity.

Four of the Iranian hackers were charged with conspiracy and attempts to commit computer intrusion and aggravated identity theft in the same indictment of Witt. The U.S. Treasury is also placing sanctions on the New Horizon Organization and Net Peygard, a company that associated the hacking of agents.

An October 18, 2018 photo shows the US Treasury Department building in Washington, DC. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

An October 18, 2018 photo shows the US Treasury Department building in Washington, DC. – Losses on Wall Street deepened at midday Thursday after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced he would skip an investment conference in Saudi Arabia following the suspected murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

“[The] Treasury is taking action against malicious Iranian cyber actors and covert operations that have targeted Americans at home and overseas as part of our ongoing efforts to counter the Iranian regime’s cyber-attacks,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Witt is believed to still live in Iran and is at large.

“This case reflects our firm resolve to hold accountable any individual who betrays the public trust by compromising our national security,” said U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu. “Today’s announcement also highlights our commitment to vigorously pursue those who threaten U.S. security through state-sponsored hacking campaigns.”