America Fights Radical Islam: Three New Stories
The U.S. charged a former high-level counterintelligence officer in the Air Force with passing classified information to Iran.
Monica Elfreide Witt, also known as Fatimah Zahra, was a former active duty U.S. Air Force intelligence specialist and special agent and had high-level security clearance. She defected to Iran in 2013 and is presumed to still be living there.
Witt helped Iran launch a cyber-spying operation that targeted her fellow colleagues in the U.S. intelligence community.
On the same day as Witt’s indicted was unsealed, the U.S. also charged four Iranian nationals who were said to be involved in the scheme. In addition, the U.S. sanctioned the Iranian firm Net Peygard Samavat Company, that allegedly conducted the hacking operation, and New Horizon Organization, an Iranian events company, which is accused of working to recruit foreign attendees who participate in their conferences.
An Ohio man who was previously indicted for planning a terror attack in Cleveland was charged with additional crimes: threatening the president of the United States and his immediate family members and making false statements to law enforcement authorities.
Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts, 49, who goes by the aliases of Abdur Raheem Rafeeq and Salah ad-Deen Osama Waleed, was already charged with attempting to provide material support to al-Qaeda.
Authorities began tracking Pitts due to comments he made on social media after posting photos of a possible jihadi training camp. He was arrested after telling an undercover FBI agent about his plans to carry out a terror attack on Cleveland’s Fourth of July parade.
A U.S. Marine staff sergeant received the Silver Star for braving enemy fire to save numerous comrades in the fight against ISIS in Iraq. The man, a member of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion who cannot be named since he is still carrying out missions for the Marine Corps Special Operations Command, stopped an explosives-laden vehicle from killing coalition soldiers operating in Mosul in 2016.
The Marine was serving as an assistant element leader on Oct. 20, 2016 when he and his team positioned themselves between two enemy-held villages.
The Marines were under fire throughout the day. In the evening, they launched a counterattack on “25 heavily armed fighters and an armored vehicle-borne improvised explosive device,” according to award citation.
As reported by Military.com:
“The staff sergeant was able to take down some of the terrorists with his sniper rifle, but the vehicle was still heading toward them. Still facing enemy fire, he climbed onto the top of a nearby vehicle to retrieve a Javelin portable anti-tank missile.
“He fired, but the missile failed to launch. Still under fire, he got his hands on a second Javelin and launched another missile that took out the vehicle.”
“His decisive actions under fire [repelled] the enemy and saved the lives of friendly forces,” stated the citation.
The staff sergeant became the first Marine to receive this award in the battle against ISIS.