Ex-Air Force Counterintelligence Agent Charged With Giving Secrets To Iran

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"It is a sad day for America when one of its citizens betrays our country", said Demers.

A former U.S. Air Force counterintelligence officer who defected to Iran six years ago has been charged with spying for the Iranian government and helping Iran target other U.S. intelligence agents.

Monica Elfriede Witt, 39, served in the Air Force from 1997 to 2008 and then worked on classified government projects for two years after that, reports the Washington Post.

Monica Witt allegedly turned over classified information about United States intelligence officers after defecting to Iran in 2013, according to a newly unsealed indictment. All four remain at large.

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.

She faces seven charges, including conspiracy to deliver national defense information to representatives of a foreign government and delivering national defense information to representatives of a foreign government.

"She made a decision to turn against the United States and shift her loyalty to Iran", said Jay Tabb, the FBI's executive assistant director for national security.

US Air Force officer who defected 'spied for Iran'
Ex-US intelligence officer charged in Iran espionage case

Witt allegedly gave Iranian officials the code name and mission of a highly classified U.S. Defense Department program and the specific target involved in that intelligence operation.

The indictment says the four Iranians were acting on behalf of the government-linked Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

After officially renouncing the U.S. in August 2013, Witt allegedly disclosed the code name and specific target of the top-secret intelligence operation.

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. She returned to Iran in 2013 and was provided housing and computer equipment by Iranian officials.

During that time, she was granted high-level security clearances, learned Farsi at a USA military language school, and was deployed overseas for counterintelligence missions in the Middle East.

A few days later, Witt wrote to the same person, "I think I can slip into Russian Federation quietly if they help me and then I can contact wikileaks from there without disclosing my location". For me? Well, I loved the work, and I am endeavoring to put the training I received to good use instead of evil.

Provided with housing and computer equipment by the Iranian government, Witt tracked down USA 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.

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