In an ironic twist, it appears it may not have been ‘The Russians’ that hacked America’s political system last year. As The Daily Caller reports, three brothers (Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan) who managed office IT for members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and other lawmakers were abruptly relieved of their duties on suspicion that they accessed congressional computer networks without permission.
Imran Awan seen below with Bill Clinton
As Luke Rosiak repoerts, the brothers were barred from computer networks at the House of Representatives Thursday, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.
Three members of the intelligence panel and five members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs were among the dozens of members who employed the suspects on a shared basis. The two committees deal with many of the nation’s most sensitive issues, information and documents, including those related to the war on terrorism.
The brothers are suspected of serious violations, including accessing members’ computer networks without their knowledge and stealing equipment from Congress.
The three men are “shared employees,” meaning they are hired by multiple offices, which split their salaries and use them as needed for IT services. It is up to each member to fire them from working…
Jamal handled IT for Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat who serves on both the intelligence and foreign affairs panels.
“As of 2/2, his employment with our office has been terminated,” Castro spokeswoman Erin Hatch told TheDCNF Friday.
Jamal also worked for Louisiana Democrat Rep. Cedric Richmond, who is on the Committee on Homeland Security.
Imran worked for Reps. Andre Carson, an Indiana Democrat, and Jackie Speier, a California Democrat. Carson and Speier are members of the intelligence committee. Spokesmen for Carson and Speier did not respond to TheDCNF’s requests for comments. Imran also worked for the House office of Wasserman-Schultz.
Then-Rep. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, employed Abid for IT work in 2016. She was a member of House committees dealing with the armed services, oversight, and Benghazi. Duckworth was elected to the Senate in November, 2016. Abid has a prior criminal record and a bankruptcy.
Abid also worked for Rep. Lois Frankel, a Florida Democrat who is member of the foreign affairs committee.
Also 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.
Read more here…
A criminal investigation into five unnamed people began late last year related to serious and potentially illegal violations of House IT policies, Politico reported Thursday. Chiefs of staff for the members were briefed Thursday by the Sergeant-at-Arms.
Buzzfeed reported Friday that one of the affected members claimed:
they said it was some sort of procurement scam, but now I’m concerned that they may have stolen data from us, emails, who knows.
While treading carefully here, and not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings, is it just us or is the irony too perfect that having blamed ‘Russians’ for allegedly hacking their systems and manipulating the election, it was three IT staff they hired (with immigrant-sounding names – yes we said it) that in fact broke into the systems of various politicians and aides.