Wednesday May 22, 2024

Trump mentions Pak mystery man to counter Democrats’ suit

By Wajid Ali Syed
April 22, 2018

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump mentioned a 'Pakistani Mystery man' in his tweet yesterday while announcing to counter the lawsuit filed by the Democratic Party. "Just heard the Campaign was sued by the Obstructionist Democrats. This can be good news in that we will now counter for the DNC server that they refused to give to the FBI, the Debbie Wasserman Shultz servers and Documents held by the Pakistani mystery man and Clinton emails.," the president tweeted. Trump did not specify who the Pakistani mystery man was, but the political circles here are aware of the person who worked for the Democrats and stole official data. The News has already reported about this so-called "Pakistani mystery man" back in January and hence can be identified as Imran Awan. A Faisalabad born guy who, along with his other family members, worked as IT aide for various Congress members. Their fraudulent activity was reported earlier last year and an international investigation took place that concluded that the accused breached the security protocol, and had unauthorised access to official data. The months-long probe also determined that, "five shared employee system administrators collectively logged into 15-member offices and the Democratic Caucus although they were not employed by the offices they accessed." The presentation prepared after the probe was prepared by the House Office of the Inspector General, and found indications that a House server was used for nefarious purposes and elevated the risk that individuals could be reading and/or removing information. One system administrator "logged into a member's office two months after he was terminated from that office," it said.

Another presentation tied to the investigation also revealed that "during September 2016, shared employee continued to use Democratic Caucus computers in anomalous ways: logged onto laptop as system administrator; changed identity and logged onto Democratic Caucus server using 17 other user account credentials; some credentials belonged to members; accessed 9 offices to which the employee wasn't working for." It also found possible storage of sensitive House information outside the office.

While the report was not been made public but even President Trump mentioned it in an interview published late December in New York Times. "Whatever happened to this Pakistani guy who worked with the DNC?" he asked adding, "With the two servers that they broke up into million pieces? Whatever happened to him?"

The Awans were removed from their roles when the allegations surfaced, and the Federal Bureau started its investigation. Imran Awan, who was working for former DNC chairperson Debbie Shultz tried to flee the country but was arrest at Dulles International Airport last year. The charges against him included an alleged bank fraud. The case is still in the court.

The president's attention to the story arose yesterday once again when the local media followed up on the previous news and mentioned claims made by Imran Awan's late father, Haji Ashraf's former business partner. The business partner, Rashid Minhas claimed that Imran Awan gave stolen data to former interior minister Rehman Malik. When asked how he knew about this, Minhas further claimed that on one occasion in 2008 when a "USB [was] given to Rehman Malik by Imran's father, my brother Abdul Razzaq was with his father." He did not say what was on the USB.

Senator Rehman Malik was approached for reaction, who immediately refuted all claims saying, "I am hearing their names for the first time. I am in public and people always do name-dropping." Minhas, the business partner of Imran's late father Haji Ashraf, is also in federal prison for fraud.

The lawsuit that President Trump referred to was filed by the Democratic Party this week and concerns an alleged conspiracy hatched by Russia, WikiLeaks, and top officials from Donald Trump’s campaign to tilt the last presidential election in his favour.

Lodged by Democratic National Committee, the complaint filed in federal District Court in Manhattan alleges that Russia informed Trump’s campaign that it had conducted a cyber-attack on the DNC, leading to the release of information ‘damaging’ to Hillary Clinton.