Prosecutors Seek Detention For DC Duo Who Allegedly Posed As Federal Officers, Citing Foreign Travel

Prosecutors are thinking about leveling supplemental costs at two gentlemen who they accuse of impersonating Office of Homeland Stability agents, an assistant U.S. attorney claimed on Thursday.

Haider Ali, 35, and Arian Taherzadeh, 40, were arrested on Wednesday in a remarkable FBI raid of a D.C. Navy Yard luxurious apartment advanced on costs of impersonating federal officers.

At a Thursday court hearing, D.C. federal prosecutor Josh Rothstein instructed U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Harvey for the District of Columbia that the two wanted to be stored powering bars pending trial, saying that FBI brokers had uncovered a weapons cache during the search.

The hearings, held sequentially for Taherzadeh and then for Ali, had been delayed and interrupted as the general public defender assigned to the circumstance spoke with her clientele for what appeared to be the to start with time. Prosecutors shifted slightly in the particulars involving the two hearings, telling the judge that the govt was continue to in the approach of comprehending what it had uncovered.

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Neither Ali nor Taherzadeh entered pleas at the listening to. A public defender argued that both of them ought to be freed pending demo. Choose Harvey scheduled a detention hearing in the circumstance for 3:30 p.m. on Friday.

Prosecutors filed the original rates versus the pair on Wednesday, just one day soon after Solution Support agents who were the pair’s alleged targets have been suspended. According to an FBI affidavit, the alleged scheme was purportedly uncovered immediately after a March 15 assault on a postal worker at the making, which led postal inspectors to perform first interviews with the two defendants.

The Wednesday lookup, Rothstein mentioned, uncovered “ballistic vests, entire body armor, gasoline masks, tactical legislation enforcement breaching equipment, zip ties, handcuffs, firearms storage circumstances for significant and little arms,” as nicely as human body cameras and a “drone regular with what’s made use of by SWAT groups.”

The feds, Rothstein reported, also discovered smaller arms, ammunition, and attachments for a lengthy gun and “sniper spotting devices.”

Taherzadeh and Ali had been accused in an FBI affidavit on Wednesday of hoping to “ingratiate” themselves with a amount of Magic formula Support agents who lived in the Navy Yard sophisticated, providing agents items although by themselves posing as associates of the Office of Homeland Safety.

“We have not verified the veracity of these promises, but [Ali] made statements to witnesses that he had connections to the the ISI,” Rothstein mentioned, referring to Pakistan’s intelligence services.

Rothstein also claimed that Ali’s passport showed visas and border stamps for Pakistan and Iran in 2019 and early 2020, just before the pair rented the residences in February 2020.

The two moved into the building just as it was 1st opening up for rentals. Rothstein stated that, possessing rented 5 units in the sophisticated, the two established about making an attempt to “infiltrate” law enforcement and protection networks, talking with neighbors who worked for the Key Company and the Division of Homeland Safety.

Through the Wednesday research of the duo’s residences, agents purportedly located a “binder with a list of just about every resident in their condominium advanced,” which incorporated regulation enforcement associates. The pair also had documents labeled “law enforcement delicate,” Rothstein said.

The prosecutor mentioned that additional prices may well include possession of a firearm and conspiracy for both of those of the defendants and, for Taherzadeh, destruction of proof.

Just after currently being detained on Wednesday, Rothstein said, Taherzadeh informed arresting officers that he had “deleted materials from a Fb web page connected with regulation enforcement activity” after studying of the probe. During the listening to, the two Taherzadeh and Ali experimented with to interrupt and proper Rothstein, with the choose telling them each and every that “it doesn’t assistance you to say anything at all.”

In 1 instance, Rothstein reported that Taherzadeh’s passport confirmed a “foreign journey to the Center East in the last a few decades.”

“I haven’t been to the Center East at all,” the defendant replied.

50 percent an hour later, throughout the hearing for Ali, Rothstein clarified.

“I was hunting at the vacation report, and which is what showed the vacation to London,” he stated.

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