Is There Another Safehouse?
New Developments In Fake DHS Agent Case
This article is part of our continuing coverage of the arrests of Haider Sher Ali and Arian Taherzadeh – two individuals posing as Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents who developed close contact with numerous members of the Secret Service. We will supplement this coverage as new information becomes available.
The U.S. government has produced additional information concerning the activities of Ali and Taherzadeh that adds considerably to the concern about their objectives. The most recent supplemental memorandum submitted by the U.S. Attorney, in this case, begins, “As the Government stated during Friday’s detention hearing, with every new fact uncovered in the investigation of Defendants Arian Taherzadeh and Haider Ali, the story only gets worse. What we have learned in the 36 hours since that hearing is no exception.”
In addition to substantial information documenting the lengths, Ali and Taherzadeh went to in their attempt to pose as legitimate investigators, the memorandum contains the following information that caught our attention from a counterterrorist and operational perspective.
-Somebody tipped Ali and Taherzadeh to the fact that they were under investigation. This suggests strongly that the pair successfully recruited sources inside federal law enforcement to work for them.
-Ali and Taherzadeh were apparently aware that they had been placed under physical surveillance. This raises the possibility that they had been trained by someone or some organization in surveillance detection.
-Ali and Taherzadeh mailed some items out of their apartment in an attempt to get them off the premises before federal law enforcement searched the place. This suggests some keen analysis on their part. They knew they could not walk out carrying anything but banked on the fact that all mail leaving the building would not be stopped and opened. They were right. The items mailed were discovered only because the Secret Service officer to whom they were mailed reported them.
-The items mailed included cases for several firearms that were not found in the apartment when it was searched. Those guns have yet to be found. This suggests strongly that there is another safe house somewhere.
-Law enforcement seized a dynamic entry kit from Ali and Taherzadeh’s apartment which included a mini-door ram, axe, sledgehammer, Halligan tool, and bolt cutters. A Halligan tool is used by first responders to break open locked doors. The only purpose for which this gear would be used would be to force entry to a locked and secured room, office, or residence.
None of what is coming to light suggests that this was an ordinary scam of some kind. Every new piece of evidence makes it that much more likely that we are looking at two men involved in preparation for a terrorist attack in Washington, D.C. We note that when Ali traveled to Iran he flew into Mashhad, which is known to be the location of an Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) facility at which foreign nationals are trained for terrorist attacks abroad.
As law enforcement and intelligence agencies attempt to sort this out they should be mindful that Ali was apparently bankrolling this operation somehow and seemed to have access to significant funds. That means it is definitely possible that this is not the only physical location at which equipment, like the missing firearms, may be located.
That raises the question – is there another safehouse?