US charges ex-Air Force intelligence officer with 'spying for Iran'
The US Justice Department charged a former air force intelligence officer on Wednesday with spying for Iran, saying she exposed a US agent and helped Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard develop cyber targets in the US military.
US officials said Monica Elfriede Witt, who worked for years in US Air Force counterintelligence, had an "ideological" turn against her country and exposed US intelligence operations against Tehran.
A Justice Department indictment charged Witt in absentia, as she defected in 2013 and is currently at-large, along with four Iranian hackers who, prosecutors say, used the information she provided to target former colleagues in the US intelligence community.
The indictment says the four Iranians were acting on behalf of the government-linked Iranian Revolutionary Guard. All four remain at large.
"It is a sad day for America when one of its citizens betrays our country," said Assistant Attorney General John Demers, the head of the Justice Department's national security division.
Jay Tabb, the FBI's top national security official, said the FBI had warned Witt before her defection that she was a vulnerable target for recruitment by Iranian intelligence but that Witt had ignored those warnings.