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Former Air Force intelligence officer charged with spying for Iran
A former Air Force intelligence officer, Monica Witt, has been charged with espionage after U.S. authorities say she defected to Iran and shared highly classified information with the Iranian government.
Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers announced the indictment Wednesday in Washington, calling the matter "a sad day for America."
The Justice Department also alleges that four Iranian nationals acting on behalf of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps committed identity theft and attempted cyber hacking.
Demers described the indictments as a confluence of two streams of national security cases.
The first stream charges Iran and "other foreign adversaries" with engaging in malign cyber activity. That includes disrupting Internet feeds, theft of intellectual property, hacking emails and use of "cyber tools" against the United States. The Iranians allegedly "targeted, through social media and other cyber-enabled means, at least eight U.S. government agents, all of whom at one time worked or interacted with Monica Witt."
The second aspect of the investigation was centered around "former members of the intelligence community," including Kevin Mallory, a CIA operative convicted last year of spying for the Chinese government.
The indictment charges that Witt — who remains at-large — was valued by Iran because of her security clearance.
"Following her defection to Iran in 2013, she is alleged to have revealed to the Iranian government the existence of a highly classified intelligence collection program and the true identity of a U.S. intelligence officer, thereby risking the life of this individual," Demers said in his remarks. "In addition, she is alleged to have conspired with the Government of Iran to research, in some instances through social media, and create target packages – documents that enabled the Government of Iran to identify, track, and neutralize U.S. counterintelligence agents."
In his statement, Demers emphasized Witt's alleged conduct threatened national security and also put her former colleagues at great risk.
"It is a sad day for America when one of its citizens betrays our country. It is sadder still when this person, as a member of the American armed forces, previously invoked the aid of God to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and to defend her country against foreign enemies," he said. "Monica Witt is alleged to have done just this."
©2019 New York Daily News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Police arrest suspected terrorist for 1985 hijacking in which Navy diver Robert D. Stethem was murdered
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police have arrested a 65-year-old Lebanese man suspected of involvement in the 1985 hijacking of a Trans World Airlines (TWA) plane in which a U.S. navy diver was killed.
A Greek police official said on Saturday the suspect had disembarked from a cruise ship on the island of Mykonos on Thursday and that his name came up as being wanted by German authorities.
The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.
SAN DIEGO — John Timothy Earnest didn't hide his smirks as he sat in a San Diego courtroom on Thursday, watching surveillance video of Lori Gilbert-Kaye being shot down inside the lobby of a Poway synagogue.
Earnest also smiled as a synagogue congregant testified about running toward the shooter, screaming "I'm going to kill you!" and seeing the gunman "with a look of astonishment or fear" turn and run.
Earnest, 20, is facing one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder in the shootings at Chabad of Poway on April 27. He also faces an arson charge related to an Escondido mosque fire in March, when several people who were sleeping inside escaped unharmed.
Sometimes a joke just doesn't work.
For example, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service tweeted and subsequently deleted a Gilbert Gottfried-esque misfire about the "Storm Area 51" movement.
On Friday DVIDSHUB tweeted a picture of a B-2 bomber on the flight line with a formation of airmen in front of it along with the caption: "The last thing #Millenials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today."
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey is ready to act on its southern border with Syria, President Tayyip Erdogan said, after warning that it could take unilateral steps if the U.S. does not establish a "safe zone" in northeast Syria this month.
"Our preparations along our borders are complete," Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Saturday before departing to attend a U.N. General Assembly meeting.