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She left the Air Force in 2008 as a special agent assigned to the 2nd Field Investigations Squadron at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland just outside of Washington D.C., according to military records.

According to charges unsealed on Wednesday by the justice department on Wednesday she defected to Iran in August 2013, taking with her details of United States counter-intelligence agents she had worked with, who were then targeted by Iranian hackers, four of whom are named in the indictment and charged alongside Witt.

The indictment said Monica Witt exposed a USA agent and helped Iran's Revolutionary Guards develop cybertargets in the US military after defecting to Iran in 2013.

Demers further explained, "Four Iranian cyber hackers are also charged with various computer crimes targeting members of the USA intelligence community who were Ms. Witt's former colleagues". She initially served as an airborne cryptologic language analyst, which is a specialist responsible for translating intelligence communication often intercepted via airborne assets.

However, in 2012, she traveled to Iran to attend the Iranian New Horizon Organization's "Hollywoodism" conference, aimed specifically at criticizing and condemning American foreign policy.

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Witt has, not surprisingly, disappeared in Iran and is probably beyond the reach of the American legal system.

After moving to Iran and converting to Islam, prosecutors claim Witt was housed by the Iranian government and provided with a computer, which she used to compile "target packages" containing information for her new employers on American military and intelligence personnel. She had top-level security clearance while working for the USA government and was trained in Farsi by the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.

The indictment says the four Iranians were acting on behalf of the government-linked Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. In Iran, she has appeared to work at times to publish anti-American articles for the state-owned Press TV.

Washington also charged four Iranian nationals who it said were involved in the cyberattacks.

She defected to Iran in 2013 and presumably still lives there, USA officials said.

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After she was permitted to emigrate to Iran she told her contact that she was "signing off and heading out", adding, "Coming home".

Messages quoted in an indictment unsealed yesterday showed Witt saying that she wanted to "put the training I received to good use instead of evil" around the time of her defection.

Yahoo News reports that she wrote a message claiming that she might "do like [Edward] Snowden", the former USA intelligence contractor who leaked thousands of highly-classified documents about the National Security Agency in 2013 before being granted asylum in Russian Federation.

After leaving the Air Force, she worked as an intelligence analyst with major defense contractor Booze Allen Hamilton in 2008 supporting the Army as an Iranian subject matter expert.

Aided by Individual A, Witt eventually met Iran's ambassador in Tajikistan, who gave her money to fly to Dubai.

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