by George Rasley, ConservativeHQ.com Editor
Yesterday, we connected some of the dots about Imran Awan, the House Democrat’s information technology staffer who was busted for unauthorized access to government computers and arrested at Dulles Airport for bank fraud, not espionage, as he tried to flee to his native Pakistan.
Earlier in the week learned that FBI agents seized smashed computer hard drives from the home Awan shared with some of the other members of his gang; his bothers Abid and Jamal Awan, Hina R. Alvi (Imran Awan’s wife) and Natalia Sova, all employed by House Democrats as IT administrators.
The brothers, and their wives, are suspected of serious violations, including accessing members’ computer networks without their knowledge and stealing equipment from Congress reported our friend Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller News Foundation. Alvi worked for many of the same members as the three brothers, as well as the House Democratic Caucus.
Among those whose computer systems may have been compromised is Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida Democrat who was previously the target of a disastrous email hack when she served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign.
Awan, who is rumored to have ties to Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency, is not just any small fry IT worker – he’s also a high-level Muslim activist.
You can read one of his articles – an op-ed on CNN no less – in which he decries alleged Islamophobia and makes this anti-constitutional point:
…whether it’s getting stories factually incorrect or describing Muslims as a security threat, there is clearly a backlash against Muslims online and offline with threatening comments that are both extremely inflammatory and promote Islamophobia.
This negativity is framed within the construct that Muslims are dangerous people, and creates a “them vs. us” mentality that can be highly damaging for community relations. Now is the time for action to reverse this trend, and as Mehdi Hasan suggests, “sanctions for dishonest and demonizing press coverage of Muslims” might be one way to ensure that we start to see a balanced coverage that does not demonize or stereotype Muslims.
This is the classic argument of the Sharia-supremacist against the Western Enlightenment concepts of freedom of thought and speech; there must be penalties for criticizing Islam and Muslims.
With Awan’s Islamist views known, why would eight Democrat members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence issue a letter requesting that their staffers be granted access to Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI)?
Among those that signed the letter were Representatives Jackie Speier (CA) and Andre Carson (IN), the second Muslim in Congress, both of whom employed the Awan brothers.
But here’s where it gets even more interesting, and scary.
“On January 18, 2017 at 12:09 pm, an international wire transfer request form was submitted [at the Congressional Federal Credit Union] at the Longworth House Office Building in the District of Columbia, in the amount of $283,000.00, to two individuals in Faisalabad, Pakistan,” according to an affidavit obtained by our friend Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller News Foundation
Rosiak of the Daily Caller News Foundation (who should get a Pulitzer Prize for his dogged pursuit of this story) reports that Awan’s potential for flight has been known at least since March, when his wife was allowed to skip the country.
In March, Hina Alvi (Imran Awan’s wife) who also was on the House payroll, withdrew her children from school and left the country.
The Capitol Police confronted her at the airport but allegedly could not stop her. “U.S. Customs and Border Protection conducted a search of Alvi’s bags immediately prior to her boarding the plane and located a total of $12,400.00 in U.S. cash inside.
Alvi was permitted to board the flight to Qatar and she, and her daughters, have not returned to the United States,” says an affidavit in the case. “Alvi had numerous pieces of luggage with her, including cardboard boxes… Your affiant does not believe that Alvi has any intention to return to the United States.”
As Luke Rosiak has reported, the Awans own numerous rental properties that often have multiple mortgages taken out on them, and they have told renters they want payments in untraceable ways. The charging documents say Imran’s wife Hina Alvi, who also made $165,000 working for House Democrats, took out a second mortgage against a house from the Congressional Federal Credit Union by falsely claiming it was her “principal residence” and that she will “occupy” the property, and also fraudulently reported no rental income on her taxes.
A renter told the FBI “they paid approximately $2,000 per month for rent and that the rent check was written to Suriaya Begum. Based on information and belief, I know that Begum is Alvia’s mother,” an FBI agent wrote.
Why was Hina Alvi, who was up to her neck in the schemes of the Awan brothers’ ring, allowed to skip the country?
But it gets even better.
DNC Leaks email dumps reveal that Imran Awan had access to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s iPad, and hence HER email and computer network. below is the full email dated May 12, 2016 from DNC leaks series:
Pelosi is doing s [sic] closed door meeting. No staff or anyone allowed. Kaitlyn come to Rayburn room and get her iPad for Imran.
Tracie and Kate I will call Kate. Conf in Tracie
Rep. Wasserman Schultz*
Keep in mind House authorities told members in February that Imran Awan and his relatives were suspects in a criminal investigation into theft and IT abuses, and they were banned from the Capitol network, but he was on Wasserman – Schultz’s payroll right up until the morning he was arrested.
So, why did Wasserman Schultz refuse for months to fire Imran, despite being a known criminal suspect in a cybersecurity probe, and has blocked Capitol Police from searching a laptop they confiscated because it was tied to him?
Bill Miller, spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, told Rosiak that Awan “was arraigned today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on one count of bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344. He pled not guilty and was released pursuant to a high-intensity supervision program. The conditions of release are that he receive a GPS monitor, he abide by a curfew of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., and that he not leave a 50-mile radius of his residence in Virginia. Awan was also ordered to turn over all of his passports.”
All of his passports? As far as we know international practice is you only get ONE passport, unless a friendly government or your intelligence agency handlers provide you with multiple passports.
Also, the whereabouts of the other members of the Imran Awan ring, his bothers Abid and Jamal Awan, and Natalia Sova and Rao Abbas, Imran’s best friend who is also implicated in these crimes, remain unknown to the public at this time.
Did they also skip to Pakistan along with Imran’s wife Hina Alvi?
Now here’s the frosting on the cake: Chris Gowen, Imran Awan’s lawyer, is a long-time campaigner for former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a member of an attorney team that brought a fraudulent lawsuit against energy giant Chevron, reports the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Democratic members of Congress, including Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York, have suggested that police had framed the Pakistani-born brothers out of Islamophobia.
We think it is much more likely that the House IT theft investigation blundered into a Pakistani intelligence (ISI) operation to penetrate the House computer network, which even if it did not allow access to the separate classified system (a doubtful proposition given the lax op-sec record of Democrats) would provide a vast amount of actionable intelligence: Who is sleeping with who, political gossip, schedules, home addresses and contact information, and unclassified briefings on classified material are just a few items of the vast trove of information that could have been swept up by the Awan ring.
The House of Representatives, and especially the Capitol Police whose job is generally viewed as protecting Members from embarrassment, not counter-espionage, cannot be trusted to conduct a full and politics-free investigation of this national security disaster.
It is time this investigation moved beyond bank fraud and laptop theft to became a national security investigation with the FBI and counterintelligence agencies replacing the politics-tainted Capitol Police as the lead agency investigating how House Democrats handed over the backdoor to the House computer network to a Hezbollah and ISI connected cell that was paid some $5 million by the US government and then laundered the money through a car dealership, phony mortgages and a crooked Iranian doctor.
Click here to read yesterday’s connect the dots article.
*Our thanks to Pamela Geller for this item.