Direct Iranian Plot to Launch Terror Attacks in Washington DC

Is Exposure of a Turning Point?
– by Barry Rubin, PAJAMAS MEDIA

It should be, but will it be?

ABC News has broken a story about the disruption of a major Iran-backed terrorist plot to stage an attack on U.S. soil. According to U.S. officials, the plan was to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States and to attack the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington D.C. Parallel attacks were planned for these two countries’ embassies in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The case is still being developed, and it isn’t clear whether the origin of this plot goes back to Tehran. According to ABC’s sources, Manssor Arbabsiar — an Iranian American living in Texas — approached an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration, thinking he was speaking with a member of a Mexican drug gang for help in the proposed attacks. He said he was acting on behalf of a cousin, Gholam Shakuri, who might be a Revolutionary Guard official involved in terrorist operations.

He offered $1.5 million for the killing, with a $100,000 down payment in two installments being paid by Arbabsiar while on a visit to Iran.

These two men have been charged with conspiracy to kill, among other charges. Arbabsiar, who is now cooperating with the prosecution, also offered to provide opium in large quantities for the Mexican drug cartels. Apparently, the FBI has a lot of evidence, including recordings of meetings and telephone calls with Arbabsiar.

Let’s assume that this story is accurate. What’s most important here is not the innate sensationalism of this dramatic story, but its political implications. An Iranian official — perhaps two according to the indictment — is directly linked with a plan to stage terrorist attacks on American soil in which Americans would certainly have been killed or injured. This amounts to an act of war.

Indeed, it is the first time in modern history that a foreign government has been caught planning a major terrorist attack on American soil.

President Barack Obama, Homeland Security, and other top agencies and officials have the evidence and full briefings into this matter if they choose to access them. What effect would this have on U.S. foreign policy?

Already, they have had high-quality intelligence. We know this from the congressional testimony of Defense and State Department officials:

    – Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism.

    – Iran is harboring al-Qaeda leaders on its soil and letting them plan attacks on America from that safe haven.

    – Iran is training and supplying the Taliban with weapons and training to attack and kill Americans.

    – Iran is deeply involved in attacking and killing U.S. personnel and citizens in Iraq.

And that’s not all. Is this sufficient evidence to persuade Obama that Iran regards itself as being at war with the United States? That the top priority of U.S. Middle East policy — and very possibly the number-one priority of U.S. foreign policy generally — should be to counter Iran and revolutionary Islamism? And I don’t mean by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Hezballah as moderates!

In other words, is this case going to be the smoking gun — or, perhaps, the smoking bomb — that gets U.S. policy on the right course? It should be, though I suspect it isn’t. But those who would be president and Congress should take note and learn from this event, even if the current president doesn’t.

Here are the court documents, courtesy of CBS. Nice when the mass media actually covers a story.

Here’ the Justice Department press release.

And the FBI’s press release.

But before the Obama administration brags about its success let’s consider two things:

First, it’s easy to catch a terrorist when he walks in and involves an undercover agent, but what if he had contacted a regular Mexican drug gangster?

Second, if that had happened might the Mexican drug cartel have used weapons sold to them in a U.S. government program sponsored by the Justice Department to kill U.S. citizens in Washington DC?

October 12, 2011 | 10 Comments »

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10 Comments / 10 Comments

  1. “And I don’t mean by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Hezballah as moderates!”

    Barry Rubin, YOU may not mean that, but it sounds like standard operating procedure in Washington’s dealing with Islamic threats. You could even add, “putting pressure on Israel to make more concessions.”

    A friend of mine once told a joke: There were two brothers, who figured out a way to haul material, so that they would receive $40 per load, and pay out $50. After a while, they noticed that they were losing money, and one of the brothers said,

    “I know the answer! Let’s buy more trucks!”

    Expect even more strip-searching of babies and grandmothers in US airports, and more pressure on Israel. More trucks.

  2. PS Ben, The Persians freed the Hebrews several millenia ago. To even compare the Persians of that era with the Iranians of today actually makes my head spin. Benjamin, please read your Bible and some history books. You’d be surprised at what you might learn!

  3. If Ben has to ask why Israel and the U.S. are so mad at Iran, then I wonder if he has actually read a newspaper or listened to the news in the past 30 or more years. I do not think the Ayatollas or the present president of Iran were joking when they held our people hostage for 444 days or when their president threatened Israel with extermination. Ben, do you agree with that idiot that the Holocaust never took place?
    Tell the truth, Ben, you are the joker here, and you are trying to rile us up, aren’t you?

  4. Your bullet points are all items the US government has been spewing for years. Iranians are not ARABS. They hate Al-Qaeda. What a piece of crap article. People can no longer believe this rubbish anymore. America is the terrorist. They are hurting their own people. Either the writer is on drugs/stupid or he was told to write it that way. I’m Jewish and I think the Arabs hate us more than the Iranians. Besides the Persians freed us from the Babylonians/Arabs and allowed us to practice. Why are we, Israel, so upset with Iran? Or is it the Christian nut jobs in government that are asking for a favor.

  5. Finally, the alleged attack on the Saudi Ambassador following the loss of support from China and Russia for the Assad regime, may lead to a change of mind of these two countries for Iran.
    It is high time to cut Iran homicidal behavior to size.
    It is common knowledge that Iran has infiltrated South, Central and North America.
    The current event should be surprise to no one.
    There is a rumor (see # 6) that suggests that the “Iran affair” is a diversion for the embattled US Attorney General!
    Let’s not forget that Saudi Arabia is spending billions of petro$ to overturn the laws of this country.

  6. bahmi may not be so far off as you think – look at the other side of this same coin – the A.G. (Holder) is in the process of being investigated (legally) for shipping (lots) of guns to Mexico. The guns were used in the death of a few U.S. police officers and several crimes in Mexico and here in the U.S. This announcement of the Iranian plot gave Holder the chance to preen for the cameras – which the liberal press just ate up as tho that were the only story.
    I realize some of you are probably not in the U.S. and may not be privy to some of the behind the scenes political shenanigans going on over here. It is at times a real soap opera and most of the time it is so unbelievable, you couldn’t make it up.

  7. Iran has a lot to gain!
    A success like this would be an enormous propaganda victory and point out to all how much the US really was a paper tiger!
    And Bahmi or is it barmy, you can take your false flag and shove it up your ass!

  8. False flag. Iran has little to gain. Who has read Pres. Ahmadinejad’s speech from the UN? There are people up to no good, who are they? Are they to be believed? Is this how the world should go? Is invasion the new answer? Is it the new paradigm? Who is behind this? Why were 6-8 Saudi Arabians blamed for 911 found back in Saudi Arabia in a few days after the disaster? False flag, I’m telling you, false flag.

  9. What exactly would the Iranians gain by this? Wouldn’t it push us and the Saudis closer as the relationship has frayed a bit since the advent of the Arab Spring?