Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Commander of Iran's Cyber-Warfare Program Found Shot to Death.

The body of Mojtaba Ahmadi, who served as the head of the Revolutionary Guards Cyber Warfare unit, was found shot twice in a wooded area northwest of Tehran over the weekend.

Ahmadi was last seen leaving his home for work on Saturday. He was later found with two bullets in the heart, according to Alborz, a website linked to the Revolutionary Guard Corps. “I could see two bullet wounds on his body and the extent of his injuries indicated that he had been assassinated from a close range with a pistol,” an eyewitness told the website.

The commander of the local police said that two people on a motorbike had been involved in the assassination.

The Facebook page of the officers of the Cyber War Headquarters confirmed that Ahmadi had been one of their commander and posted messages of condolence. But Alborz users warned that the openly accessible book of condolence could harm Iran’s national security.

Ahmadi is the most recent Iranian security official to be assassinated. In 2010, an Iranian nuclear scientist was killed by a bomb blast and in November 2011, seventeen members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards were killed in a suspicious blast at a weapons depot outside of Tehran. Among the dead was a Revolutionary Guard commander considered pivotal to Iran's long range missile development program.

The high profile deaths have triggered accusations by Iran's hardline islamist regime that the assassinations were carried out by a foreign entity such as Israel. Israel has neither confirmed or denied their involvement in the deaths, although Mossad agents were believed to have carried out the assassination of a Hamas commander in a Dubai hotel room.

Although Iran's cyber-warfare capabilities aren't as worrisome as the development of their nuclear program, Ahmadi is believed to have lent his unit's manpower and expertise to a clique of pro-Assad hackers calling themselves the Syrian Electronic Army. Targets of the Free Syrian Army in the past year have included the New York Times website, the Reuters twitter account as well as the homepage for the University of California- Los Angeles, the United State Marine Corps and Harvard University.

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