Former US Air Force officer charged with spying for Iran

World Today

This image released on February 13, 2019 shows the Missing Person page of the FBI website for Monica Elfriede Witt, 39, a former US air force counterintelligence officer. – The US Justice Department charged the former air force intelligence officer on February 13, 2019 with spying for Iran, saying she exposed a US agent and helped the Revolutionary Guard develop cyber targets in the US military. US officials said Monica Witt, who worked for years in US Air Force counterintelligence, had an “ideological” turn against her country and exposed US intelligence operations against Tehran. (Photo by HO / FBI / AFP)

A former U.S. counterintelligence agent has been charged with spilling U.S. secrets to Iran.

The U.S. Justice Department announced the indictment of Monica Witt Wednesday, saying she defected to Iran in 2013 after attending two conferences there, which it said were fronts set up by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. A warrant has been issued for Witt’s arrest.

Previously a special agent of the U.S. Air Force, U.S. prosecutors said the 39-year-old disclosed information to Tehran on U.S. intelligence officials she had worked with, as well as details of a classified Defense Department program.

Witt worked with the U.S. Air Force as an intelligence specialist, joining the service in 1997. She left in 2008 and worked with a Defense Department contractor until 2010.


FBI’s most recent Wanted Poster for Monica Elfriede Witt

Four Iranian nationals were also charged with helping Witt in her bid to reach out to former colleagues.

All five of those charged in the indictment are thought to be living in Iran.

Announcing the charges to reporters, U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Demers said, “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.”

The indictments come as the U.S. and other nations gather in Warsaw, Poland, to address peace and stability in the Middle East and specifically address concerns about Iran. Investigators rejected any link between the timing of the conference and the charges revealed Wednesday.