The first ruminations about a potential breach of security from individuals rummaging around inside the U.S. House of Representatives internal computer network were announced by Buzzfeed on February 2, 2017. Their report stated that investigations had been on-going concerning five men who worked for various members of Congress as information technology (IT) specialists. No arrests had been made at the time of that first report, but U.S. Capitol Police had told “the chief of staff for 20 lawmakers” that these individuals were running a procurement scam with their easy “access to virtually all of the [House of Representatives] computer systems.”
A few weeks later, more details were released. In successive reports filed in The Daily Caller, it was discovered that three of those being investigated were Pakistani brothers – Jamal, Imran and Abid Awan – along with Hina Alvi, Imran’s wife. All four had been making $160,000 per year working as IT managers. They were considered “shared employees [because] they are hired by multiple offices.” The Congressional offices in which the four had daily IT access included Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D- Florida), Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), Rep. Cedric Wilson (D-Louisiana), Rep. Andre Carson (D-Indiana), Rep. Jackie Spier (D-California), Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Florida), Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), Red. Diana DeGellte (D-Colorado), among others.
Two of these Congressmen, Rep. Andre Carson (D-Indiana) and Rep Jackie Spier (D-California), as reported by Frontpagemag.com, sit on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In 2016, this committee “issued a demand that their staffers be granted access to top secret information.” That means that those Pakistani suspects were granted the opportunity to channel whatever classified and top secret information they deemed necessary. Of particular interest is Rep. Andre Carson (D-Indiana), the ranking member of the “Emerging Threats Subcommittee and the Department of Defense Intelligence and Overhead Architecture Committee. ” Carson is also the second Muslim to be elected to Congress and has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Investigators found that the brothers had stolen equipment, hooked up an external server to funnel Congressional data, and engaged in “overbilling for computer equipment.” Additionally, Abid’s wife, Natalie, who was not employed by the House of Representatives, was magically added to the payroll and began getting paychecks shortly after her husband Imran got the congressional IT job. Another note of interest is that when Jamal Awan began working as an IT manager in 2014, he was being paid three times “the average House salary,” as reported by The Daily Caller.
The brothers’ need for the extra money was millions of dollars of debt due to badly managed outside businesses as well as exorbitant tastes in cars, credit card debt, real estate transactions and bankruptcy proceedings. Additionally, both Abid and Imran had serious driving offenses. Charges included driving under the influence of alcohol, operating illegal radar equipment and/or driving an unregistered vehicle.
The brothers always needed money. They procured a $100,000 “loan” from Dr. Ali al-Attar, who is a political figure in Iraq. But they were able to hide the money through an external fake company that they controlled. These IT guys used their skills to rig the system and make it “impossible to decipher financial transactions.”
Imran Awan is considered the ringleader. Since 2005, he’s been working for the defrocked Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. His two brothers have since been fired by the individual congressional offices, but as of February 6th, Imran hadn’t yet been fired by Rep. Wasserman Schultz.
Instead of Democrats making up stories about Russian hacking, they’d better investigate serious cyber security breaches in their own back yard.