Monica Elfriede Witt (Monica Witt), born April 8, 1979, El Paso, Texas, former U.S. Air Force intelligence specialist. Monica Witt joined the Air Force in December 1997. Stationed at Offutt Air Force Base, she worked as a Persian-Farsi language specialist.
She later served as a Special Agent at the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) from November 2003, based at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. On its website, the AFOSI says its mission is to “identify, exploit and neutralize criminal, terrorist and intelligence threats to the Air Force, Department of Defense and U.S. Government”.
Monica Elfriede Witt received numerous decorations including the Air Medal, awarded for “single acts of heroism or meritorious achievements”.
Ms Witt left the US military in May 2008. For the next seven months, she worked as a contractor with Booz Allen Hamilton in Maryland, consulting on “Iranian subject matter” and providing “language and cultural specialisation”.
From November 2008 to August 2010, she worked as a Middle East Desk Officer at another contractor, Chenega Federal Systems, in Virginia. During this role Ms Witt says she “supervised, controlled, and co-ordinated the execution of highly sensitive counterintelligence operations against foreign intelligence services worldwide”.
Later, from December 2010 to May 2011, Ms Witt worked in Washington with Amidest. During her time with the non-profit group, she “submitted applications for 60 Iraqi Fulbright candidates to multiple US universities”.
Monica Elfriede Witt holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, a master’s from George Washington University, and a qualification in Persian-Farsi from the Defense Language Institute.
George Washington University’s International Affairs Review published two articles by Ms Witt in 2012. In one, she criticised the US for calling on Iran’s neighbours to sever relations with Tehran.
“In enacting a policy of severe sanctions against Iran, the US should address the potential affects (sic) on other countries and not inadvertently alienate friends by making them choose between Iran and the US” wrote Ms Witt.
State-run Press TV also published an article by Ms Witt, in which she attacked “a prevailing culture of tolerance for sexual harassment” within the US armed forces.
“As someone who served in the US army for years, I expected that after embracing Islam, my right to choose a religion and my beliefs would be respected. However, a US army member becoming Muslim was not something they could stand. They are afraid of such individuals.”
In summer 2013, Ms Witt tried defecting to Iran through its embassy in Kabul.
- Monica Elfriede Witt Biography and Profile (BBC)