Arian Taherzadeh and Haider Ali were arrested on Wednesday for impersonating federal officers. Arraigned yesterday, they await a detention hearing this today. Following the arrests the FBI searched five apartment units and three vehicles where agents found multiple firearms, law enforcement equipment, servers, and hard drives.
The two men appear rather obviously to have been running a lavish operation intended to penetrate the Secret Service, at the least, on behalf of a foreign intelligence agency. As executed, the operation equally obviously required substantial funding (see the FBI affidavit below). And yet the men were found to be impecunious at the arraignment yesterday. Ali stated at the hearing: “I don’t have any money.” One is left to wonder where all that money came from and on whose behalf they were working.
FOX News reports that prosecutors say Ali’s passport shows two Pakistani and Iranian visas. Prosecutors also allege that Ali told two witnesses that he has some type of connection with the Pakistani Intelligence Service, the Inter-Services Intelligence. Ali allegedly made multiple trips to Doha, Qatar, over the past three years. Qatar, it should be noted, has a close relationship with Iran.
According to prosecutors paraphrased in the FOX News story, “both men are currently U.S. citizens.” If the prosecutors used the word “currently” — the word is used by the reporter and is not in quotes — it implies they were formerly citizens of another country. It is at least ambiguous. Why so shy? Michael Doran’s suspicion regarding a possible Iranian connection seems to me the most likely explanation, but that is just a guess.
This incredibly disturbing story remains shrouded in mysteries. I have embedded the FBI affidavit supporting the criminal complaint and arrest warrants below.