They’re Off to Pakistan [Updated]

In February, we noted the strange case of the three Awan brothers, who got themselves hired as IT professionals, working for a number of Democratic Congressmen at an extraordinarily high rate of pay. They had access to intelligence and homeland security information, among much else, but were fired weeks after the Obama administration left office:

Horatio Alger would be proud – they somehow managed to get themselves paid three times the average rate of IT professionals working in Congress. They displayed admirable thrift – all living in the same house (not their parents’). They pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, one overcoming bankruptcy (despite being incredibly overpaid) and a felony record to get themselves hired into sensitive Intel positions for prominent Democratic congresspersons. Inquisitive fellows they were, poking around in congressional computer systems without authorization.

Did I mention thrifty? Apparently in addition to illicit information acquisition, they saved money by allegedly taking home some odds and ends, office supplies, like pens and notepad and PCs and paperclips and servers and cell phones…
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The investigation supposedly started “late last year,” yet somehow the alleged — how to put it? – unauthorized accessors of information and undocumented removers of electronics were not cut off until two weeks after Obama left office.

Now the Daily Caller reports that at least some of the Awan family has decamped for Pakistan, where they apparently are treated as VIPs with extraordinary influence in the U.S.: “Sources: Democratic Aide Suspected Of Major Security Breach Under Government Protection In Pakistan.”

A criminal suspect in an investigation into a major security breach on the House of Representatives computer network has abruptly left the country and gone to Pakistan, where her family has significant assets and VIP-level protection, a relative and others told The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.

Hina Alvi, her husband Imran Awan, and his brothers Abid and Jamal were highly paid shared IT administrators working for multiple House Democrats until their access to congressional IT systems was terminated Feb. 2 as a result of the investigation. Capitol Police confirmed the investigation is ongoing, but no arrests have been reported in the case.
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Many of the Democrats who employed the Awans are members of the House Committee on Homeland Security, the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. (A list of potentially compromised members is listed below.)

Their positions gave them access to members’ emails and confidential files. In addition, Imran was given the password for an iPad used by then-Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida Democrat. The five came to the U.S. from Pakistan.

Since the investigation became public, the Awans have abruptly moved from longtime homes in Lorton and Springfield, Va. … Multiple people said Hina told them she was headed to Pakistan where the family has significant property.
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Two other sources close to the family, who requested anonymity because they believe it is a “national security issue,” also said that Hina has gone to Pakistan.

It seems that there could be a major story here, but the Capitol Police decline to comment and there is no indication that the investigation into the Awans is moving forward. It isn’t hard to guess the reasons why that might be.

UPDATE: The Daily Caller, pretty much the only source on this story, has more: “Wasserman Schultz Threatened Police Chief For Gathering Evidence On Her IT Staffer’s Alleged Crimes.”

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz threatened the chief of the U.S. Capitol Police with “consequences” for holding equipment that she says belongs to her in order to build a criminal case against a Pakistani staffer suspected of massive cybersecurity breaches involving funneling sensitive congressional data offsite.

The Florida lawmaker used her position on the committee that sets the police force’s budget to press its chief to relinquish the piece of evidence Thursday, in what could be considered using her authority to attempt to interfere with a criminal investigation.

The Capitol Police and outside agencies are pursuing Imran Awan, who has run technology for the Florida lawmaker since 2005 and was banned from the House network in February on suspicion of data breaches and theft.

Video at the link.

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