Iran Accused of Sponsoring Plot to Assassinate Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Ambassador

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Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have charged two men with conspiracy to assassinate Adel Al-Jubeir, the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States, in what they allege is an Iranian government-backed plot.

The U.S. Department of Justice charged Manssor Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri with conspiracy to murder a foreign official and for attempting to commit an act of international terrorism. The two men were also charged in a federal complaint with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.

The alleged plot to kill Al-Jubeir were announced by Attorney General Eric Holder in a press conference this afternoon in which he was joined by FBI Director Robert Mueller and Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Bharara said the defendants were part of a "well-funded and pernicious plot" and that the charges that were filed today "should make crystal clear that we will not let other countries use our soil as their battleground."

The plot also allegedly involved an attack on the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, D.C.

As Forbes reported:

One of the men, Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old U.S. citizen who also holds an Iranian passport, was arrested on September 29 at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. But Shakuri, described by prosecutors as an Iran-based member of a special operations unit of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps known as Qods Force, remains at large.

The 21-page criminal complaint, which can be read here, alleges that Arbabsiar, Shakuri, and other Iran-based agents initiated the plot this spring. It claims that Arbabsiar agreed to travel to Mexico in July to pay a drug cartel member $1.5 million to enact the killing, and that he paid a down payment of $100,000, but failed to realize that the drug cartel member was a confidential source of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

So far, Iran has rejected the charge, according to the latest Associated Press report. The IRNA, the official Iranian news agency, said the U.S. Justice Department's accusations were part of "America's new propaganda scenario" against Iran.

The men could face life in prison if convicted of all charges brought against them.

[manderson@villagevoice.com]

Go to Runnin' Scared for all our latest news coverage.


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Spo101
Spo101

I don’t believe IT. The timing is suspect because I don’t trust Republicans, especially when it comes to terrorist activities. These silver spoons use the terrorist threat like a tool to divert public attention away from how f***ed up they are. Either that or those arms dealing Saudis need an infusion of cash  from more conflict. In any case big oil is playing the US government for fools again.

This Iranian assassination plot took the headlines away from the fact Republicans (and Conservative Democrats who are no better than Republicans) voted down the jobs bill in the Senate. How any American worker can vote for Republicans is beyond my understanding. The Republican Party and the Bush Crime Family sold out the American PEOPLE for a very few vain, greed stricken, power mad trust fund babies.

I like what Newt Gingrich said at the debate last night about how Americans should focus on the politicians and their policy decisions. I’d like to look back to the 90’s when Newt, Tom Delay, Phil Gramm, ect laid the groundwork for the economic collapse. Hidden expatriate clauses, legislation that made it easy for corporations to move our jobs to Asia. A curse upon all who are still stupid enough to fall for the Republican Party pitiful bs… See jinnbad.blogspot.com for the message.

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