Washington [US], April 8: Federal prosecutors are looking to hold the two men accused of impersonating federal agents in Washington D.C. without bail, saying one of them had ties to Pakistani intelligence and had visas from Pakistan and Iran.
The two men posed as federal agents and gave free apartments and other gifts to U.S. Secret Service agents, including one who worked on the U.S. first lady’s security detail.
Haider Ali, 35 and Arian Taherzadeh, 40, were arrested Wednesday for allegedly impersonating federal agents since 2020. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided a luxury apartment building in Washington and claims that the two men used their false associations with the U.S. government “to ingratiate themselves with members of federal law enforcement and the defense community”.
The two allegedly obtained paraphernalia, handguns and assault rifles used by federal law enforcement agencies.
During a court appearance Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Rothstein said Ali had told witnesses that he was affiliated with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency in Pakistan and that he had multiple visas from Pakistan and Iran in the months before prosecutors believe the men began impersonating U.S. law enforcement officials.
Rothstein said the U.S. has not yet been able to verify the veracity of Ali’s claims.
Investigators believe Ali had taken multiple trips to the Middle East and his U.S. travel records also showed he had travelled to Istanbul, Turkey and Doha in Qatar.
The two were discovered on March 14, when the U.S. Postal Inspector responded to a D.C. apartment building for a report of an assault involving a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier. Taherzadeh and Ali identified themselves as being part of a phony Homeland Security unit they called the U.S. Special Police Investigation Unit and that they were involved in undercover gang-related probes and also investigating last year’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Other residents in the building said the two — who held several apartments in the building that they said were “being paid for by DHS” — had access to residents’ surveillance cameras, cell phones and other personal information.
Authorities later learned that many of the buildings’ residents were in the FBI, Secret Service and DHS. The two men also had surveillance equipment, and a high-power telescope, and the FBI found evidence that they may have been creating surveillance devices and also found a binder with information on all the residents in the luxury apartment building. (ANI)