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Men Accused of Impersonating Federal Agents Investigated for Possible Ties with IRGC

Men Accused of Impersonating Federal Agents Investigated for Possible Ties with IRGC

Saturday, 9 April, 2022 - 08:00
US Capitol police attend a morning briefing outside the US Capitol in Washington, US, August 3, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

The US Department of Justice issued a ruling to maintain the imprisonment of two persons arrested in Washington, for impersonating federal security officials over several years, as well as recruiting people to gain access to the security service that protects President Joe Biden and his wife.

The authorities launched an investigation into possible links with Iranian intelligence services, particularly Al-Quds Force, the foreign arm of the Revolutionary Guards.

The US authorities announced the arrest of Iranian-born Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Pakistani-born Haider Ali 35, on Wednesday evening in their residence in the luxurious Crossing Building, in the Eastern Market neighborhood near the US Capitol building in Washington.

Justice Department Assistant Attorney Joshua S. Rothstein told the court on Friday that the two men, who hold US passports with visas to Iran and Pakistan, have impersonated Department of Homeland Security officials, including members of federal law enforcement agencies, since February 2020.

Rothstein said that during 2019 and 2020, the two men recruited professional security personnel in an apartment building in Washington, and traveled several times to Pakistan, Turkey, Iran and Qatar.

In addition, Rothstein said that Ali “made claims to witnesses that he had connections to the ISI, which is the Pakistani intelligence service.”

Investigators found in the residence a number of pistols, stockpiles of weapons, flak jackets, radios, a small drone, training manuals and surveillance equipment.

They were also charged with providing bribery and favors to members of the United States Secret Service, including an agent working with the bodyguards of First Lady Jill Biden, and another officer in the White House Uniformed Division.

Judge Michael Harvey ordered that the two men not be released on bail, due to fears that they might escape the United States. The Pakistani embassy in Washington did not comment on the allegations of the suspects’ links with Pakistani intelligence. CBS News reported that investigators are looking into the possibility that the accused have links to Iranian intelligence, including the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, or its foreign arm, Al-Quds Force.

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