The Awan Spy Ring
At the center of the investigation into a spy ring in congress is Imran Awan, former IT staffer to Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Currently, Imran Awan and wife Hina Alvi have been indicted on charges of bank fraud yet more serious allegations involving the Awans posing a real threat to national security are being largely ignored. According to the Washington Post any additional accusations made against Imran Awan are the result of Islamaphobia and are simply 'right wing conspiracy theories'.
It has come to light that Imran Awan was not only the IT administrator to DWS but Imran and his close associates have been employed by at least 45 congressional members and likely dozens more for over 15 years. It appears that Pakistani national Imran Awan enabled his family members and close friends to be hired as IT experts in congress.
Suspected Co-conspirators of Imran Awan
- Hina Alvi (wife of Imran)
- Abid A Awan (brother of Imran)
- Nataliia Sova (wife of Abid Awan)
- Rao Abbas (close friend of Imran)
- Jamal Awan (Brother or Son of Imran)
- Suraiya Begum (Relationship unclear)
Soon after Imran Awan joined the staff of Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in 2005, his brothers Abid and Jamal, his wife Hina, and his brother’s wife Natalia all appeared on other members’ payrolls, supposedly as IT administrators. His best friend Rao Abbas landed on the payroll too. Most of them made salaries ordinarily only chiefs of staff earn, but they were rarely seen or heard from in Hill IT circles.
In addition to hiring close family members it is believed that Imran Awan uses numerous aliases and is engaged in multiple identity thefts and frauds.
Imran Awan aka Muhammad Awan, Mohammad Awan and many more
List of Congressional Members employing Imran and his cohorts
In this article we will focus primarily on one of Imran's suspected co-conspirators, Imran's close friend Mr. Rao Abbas.
Person of Interest
Rao Abbas - Congressional IT Staffer
[The man on the left is believed to be Rao Abbas]
In the same way that information and photographs of Imran Awan were hard to come by, not much is known about Imran’s close friend Rao Abbas.
What is clear is that Abbas remains an ACTIVE IT staffer in Congress.
Government record show that Rao Abbas is currently listed as being on the payroll of Florida Democrat Congressman Ted Deutch.
Aside form working for congressman Deutch, Rao Abbas has also worked for several representatives since 2012:
- Rep. Joseph Crowley (Dem-NY-14)
- Rep. Emanual Cleaver (Dem-MO-5)
- Rep. Patrick Murphy (Dem-PA-8)
- Rep. John Sarbanes (Dem-MD-3)
Relevant Work Experience - McDonald's
Not only did Imran Awan manage to find IT related jobs in the US government for his wife Hina and brother Abid, but he also managed to land an IT job for his close friend Rao Abbas.
What qualifications or relevant experience did Abbas possess?
“Rao did appear to be home most days,” Perpignan said, and she claimed that Imran told her Abbas had lost his job at McDonald’s. Imran appeared to use Abbas as a cutout in more ways than one because he instructed her to make rental checks payable to Abbas instead of the landlord (Hina Alvi), she said.
Abbas lived in the basement of a house that Hina owned as a rental property, according to Cristal Perpignan, who occupied the top floors of the house. Abbas administered the email accounts and computers of eight members of Congress, according to official payroll records. House IT administrators can read all emails sent and received by members for whom they work.
Cristal Perpignan places Rao Abbas at the Linett Hill Drive property which is located very close to another Imran Awan property that is highlighted in the bank fraud case against Imran and Hina at Hawkshead Drive in Lorton, Virginia. This is the same address where another tenant of Imran's former Marine Andre Taggart found computer equipment with government markings which he handed over to authorities.
A search for Rao Abbas using Spokeo.com turns up another address in Springfield, Virginia.
As mentioned at the beginning of the post, we learned that Imran Awan had several aliases that he was known to use and that he is suspected of engaging in identity theft. It's probable that Abbas is also using several aliases as well. Running down one of many leads in the sprawling investigation, George Webb visited Mt. Vernon high school to see if he could identify if Awan or Abbas had attended the school. Though there was no evidence the two had attended he did find two men named: Mohammad Atif and Mohammad Asif.
This is very interesting because Mohammad Atif is the Technical Director of DHS.
John Hopkins University
It has been suggested that Imran Awan and Rao Abbas went to John Hopkins University. This 2004 Commencement brochure shows Imran Awan and an Imran Abbas as graduating from Information Systems program. Yet even more importantly it shows an individual named Mohammad Asif also graduating from the same class.
Does this suggest that the three are familiar with one another?
Is Mohammad Asif a victim of identity theft?
Why Imran Abbas? Why not Rao Abbas?
Have you seen Rao?
Despite records clearly showing that Rao Abbas has worked for several US congressional members for several years most claim to have no knowledge of Abbas. Basic questions regarding Abbas – “Have you met Rao Abbas?” or “Who recommended/referred Abbas to you?” are met with silence. It seems as though no one on the Hill is able to confirm the existence of Rao Abbas. Just like Imran Awan, Abbas appears to be a ghost in congress.
• Laurel Everly, who lived at an Awan property on Sprayer St. in Springfield, VA. Is perhaps the only person who may have met Abbas.
• She was asked by Imran to meet with ‘Raul’ to pay (a damage deposit or rent) while Imran was in Pakistan. She is perhaps one of the only people who claims to have met him (brief as it was).
• Everly’s description of Abbas was that he was ‘heavy set’ and 'intimidating'.
• The individual featured in the photos bellow are believed to be of Rao Abbas
• At the very least, if Imran procured the IT positions for Abbas and the others, and he himself is under indictment for bank fraud, why is Abbas still employed in congress? Why isn’t he also under investigation?
• Why are the congressional members dodging questions about Awan and Abbas?
• How’s it possible that congressional members have never met someone on their payroll?
• If terabytes of information have been leaked by Awan and his ilk, it’s possible that the leaks are ongoing when a hand-picked staffer by Awan is still employed in congress. Is this not a matter of national security?
• What is the vetting process for congressional staffers?
Here are some excellent questions/observations from Lola - [Twitter handle @DropThe_Mic] who collaborates with George Webb from time to time and reporter Luke Rosiak:
Id like to see Congressmens hiring guidelines/process & conditions of employment. "No Show Employees" #AwanBrothers