The recent leak of 700 pages of Iranian Ministry of State Security (MOIS) classified documents by The Intercept and New York Times included reference to Iran’s attempts to acquire a source within the U.S. government’s counterterrorism efforts in the Middle East area of operations.

The trove of documents highlights MOIS activities which occurred in 2014-15 timeframe.

An extract indicates that Iran was attempting to acquire a source who could provide insights into the U.S. government’s plans in Iraq, and any covert operations. The documents highlight their efforts to target an unidentified individual within the State Department, whose motivation was financial (greed).

Additional documents discuss the efforts to identify and acquire the services of covert sources of the United States intelligence community, including the CIA, who were left in Iraq after the U.S. drawdown of 2011.

The State Department and CIA declined to provide comment to The Intercept.

Monika Witt – Iran’s hold card

Targeting a U.S. government employee requires a good deal of work by any intelligence service, and most especially Iran. From where would the Iranian’s MOIS and Iran Revolutionary Guards Force (IRGC) find the nuanced expertise to put together the targeting packages?

The timeline of Witt’s outreach to Iran began in 2012, when Witt traveled to Iran for the New Horizon’s “Hollywoodism” conference. She identified herself as a U.S. veteran and appeared in Iranian videos broadcasted on Iranian television. Witt returned in 2013 and attended the next iteration of the Hollywoodism” conference and made clear her intent to “compromise classified projects.”

On August 28, 2013, Witt defected to Iran when she disembarked from her flight to Tehran from Dubai.

Witt helps the MOIS/IRGC with targeting packages

Witt’s arrival in Iran provided the Iranians a formidable resource. The Iranians used her in an offensive counterintelligence campaign designed to provide “persistent access to the recipient’s [US government targeted personnel] computer and network.

The indictment of Witt clearly indicates that “From January 2014 through May 2015 Witt assisted the IRGC in the development of target packages for use by Iran against the USG agents, including undercover counterintelligence officers.”

We now learn from the Iranian documents that they were attempting to identify U.S. sources and recruit Iraqis who were U.S. sources.

Neither the New York Times nor The Intercept’s sharing of bits and pieces of the 700 pages of Iranian intelligence internal files finger any U.S. government official. They do identify, by code name, U.S. sources who have been identified and recruited by the government of Iran.

No doubt Witt is devoting herself to more MOIS/IRGC success by helping the Iranians identify the covert assets of the U.S.

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Christopher Burgess (@burgessct) is an author and speaker on the topic of security strategy. Christopher, served 30+ years within the Central Intelligence Agency. He lived and worked in South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Central Europe, and Latin America. Upon his retirement, the CIA awarded him the Career Distinguished Intelligence Medal, the highest level of career recognition. Christopher co-authored the book, “Secrets Stolen, Fortunes Lost, Preventing Intellectual Property Theft and Economic Espionage in the 21st Century” (Syngress, March 2008). He is the founder of