Prosecutors are taking into consideration leveling additional rates at two men who they accuse of impersonating Office of Homeland Stability brokers, an assistant U.S. legal professional stated on Thursday.
Haider Ali, 35, and Arian Taherzadeh, 40, had been arrested on Wednesday in a extraordinary FBI raid of a D.C. Navy Yard luxury apartment complicated on costs of impersonating federal officers.
At a Thursday court listening to, D.C. federal prosecutor Josh Rothstein explained to U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Harvey for the District of Columbia that the two desired to be stored at the rear of bars pending trial, indicating that FBI brokers had uncovered a weapons cache in the course of the look for.
The hearings, held sequentially for Taherzadeh and then for Ali, ended up delayed and interrupted as the general public defender assigned to the situation spoke with her clientele for what appeared to be the very first time. Prosecutors shifted somewhat in the facts involving the two hearings, telling the choose that the governing administration was nevertheless in the method of being familiar with what it had uncovered.
Get TPM in your inbox, two times weekly.
Neither Ali nor Taherzadeh entered pleas at the hearing. A community defender argued that both of them should really be freed pending demo. Decide Harvey scheduled a detention listening to in the scenario for 3:30 p.m. on Friday.
Prosecutors filed the preliminary fees from the pair on Wednesday, a person working day immediately after Magic formula Services agents who were being the pair’s alleged targets have been suspended. According to an FBI affidavit, the alleged plan was purportedly uncovered right after a March 15 assault on a postal worker at the making, which led postal inspectors to conduct initial interviews with the two defendants.
The Wednesday look for, Rothstein stated, uncovered “ballistic vests, physique armor, gasoline masks, tactical legislation enforcement breaching tools, zip ties, handcuffs, firearms storage situations for huge and compact arms,” as well as human body cameras and a “drone steady with what’s utilized by SWAT teams.”
The feds, Rothstein stated, also uncovered little arms, ammunition, and attachments for a extended gun and “sniper recognizing machines.”
Taherzadeh and Ali have been accused in an FBI affidavit on Wednesday of making an attempt to “ingratiate” by themselves with a range of Magic formula Service brokers who lived in the Navy Lawn intricate, providing brokers items while them selves posing as customers of the Office of Homeland Protection.
“We haven’t confirmed the veracity of these promises, but [Ali] created claims to witnesses that he had connections to the the ISI,” Rothstein stated, referring to Pakistan’s intelligence service.
Rothstein also claimed that Ali’s passport showed visas and border stamps for Pakistan and Iran in 2019 and early 2020, ahead of the pair rented the flats in February 2020.
The two moved into the making just as it was first opening up for rentals. Rothstein reported that, acquiring rented five units in the complex, the two set about attempting to “infiltrate” law enforcement and protection networks, talking with neighbors who worked for the Magic formula Company and the Section of Homeland Safety.
In the course of the Wednesday look for of the duo’s residences, brokers purportedly observed a “binder with a listing of each resident in their condominium elaborate,” which integrated regulation enforcement users. The pair also had documents labeled “law enforcement delicate,” Rothstein said.
The prosecutor reported that further prices might consist of possession of a firearm and conspiracy for both of those of the defendants and, for Taherzadeh, destruction of proof.
Following currently being detained on Wednesday, Rothstein said, Taherzadeh instructed arresting officers that he had “deleted materials from a Fb web site connected with law enforcement activity” right after finding out of the probe. Through the hearing, both Taherzadeh and Ali tried out to interrupt and accurate Rothstein, with the choose telling them each and every that “it doesn’t help you to say something.”
In 1 case in point, Rothstein stated that Taherzadeh’s passport showed a “foreign vacation to the Center East in the final three several years.”
“I have not been to the Center East at all,” the defendant replied.
Half an hour afterwards, for the duration of the hearing for Ali, Rothstein clarified.
“I was wanting at the vacation report, and that’s what confirmed the journey to London,” he stated.