Some analysts skeptical of alleged Iranian plot

Jackson

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Some analysts skeptical of alleged Iranian plot

Washington (CNN) -- Did an elite branch of Iran's military handpick a divorced, 56-year Iranian-American used-car salesman from Texas to hire a hitman from a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the ambassador to Saudi Arabia by blowing up a bomb in a crowded restaurant in Washington?

U.S. officials say they are certain the bizarre plot against Ambassador Adel Jubeir was real.
But some analysts say they are not. They find it unlikely that the Iranian government, or legitimate factions within, would be involved in such a tangled plot.
They cite five reasons why:
Read more at:

Some analysts skeptical of alleged Iranian plot - CNN.com
 

waltky

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Granny says, "Dat's right - freeze dey's assets off...
:clap2:
Terror Plot Prompts Calls for ‘Crippling Pressure’ on Iran
October 12, 2011 – It’s time to bring “crippling pressure” to bear on Iran in response to its threatening conduct around the world, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said Tuesday.
The Florida Republican was responding to news that law enforcement agencies had foiled an alleged Iranian plot to carry out terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, beginning with the murder of the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. by bombing a restaurant he frequented in D.C. Citing Tehran’s nuclear and proliferation activities, its sponsorship of terror including attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now the latest aborted plot involving efforts to recruit criminal elements close to home, Ros-Lehtinen said “the multi-faceted threat posed by Iran becomes more severe with each passing day.”

“Tehran is actively working to attack our homeland and our allies and interests all around the world, and we simply can’t spare any more time,” she said. “Responsible nations must unite against this threat and immediately bring to bear crippling pressure on the Iranian regime and its enablers. The Foreign Affairs Committee’s terrorism subcommittee is holding a hearing Wednesday to examine links between terrorist groups and drug cartels, while on Thursday a full committee hearing is scheduled to examine security threats in the Western hemisphere. The FBI Tuesday announced the uncovering of a plot in which alleged Iranian agents hired a purported Mexican drug cartel associate to carry out attacks in the U.S.

An Iranian-American suspect at the center of the allegations, Manssor Arbabsiar, faces charges of conspiracy to murder a foreign official, murder for hire, use of certain weapons of mass destruction, and acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries. Also indicted but still at large in Iran is Gholam Shakuri, believed to be a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Qods Force, a unit answerable to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and responsible for covert operations abroad. The Iranian government dismissed the allegations as “prefabricated” and part of a “new propaganda campaign” against Iran. Attorney-General Eric Holder and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both said the U.S. would hold Iran accountable for its actions.

"This really, in the minds of many diplomats and government officials, crosses a line that Iran needs to be held to account for," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday. She said she and President Barack Obama want to "enlist more countries in working together against what is becoming a clearer and clearer threat" from Iran. The Treasury Department announced sanctions against Arbabsiar, Shakuri and three other Iranians – including the Qods Force commander and two officials – involved in the alleged plot. Heritage Foundation scholar James Carafano, a defense and homeland security expert, called for strong retaliatory measures. “The United States is fully within its rights to conduct a proportional military response against suitable, feasible, and acceptable targets,” he wrote Tuesday.

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Plot to Kill Saudi Ambassador in U.S. Unraveled on Mexican Border
October 12, 2011 : WASHINGTON (AP) — The unraveling of an alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States came from a surprising place — the front lines of the drug war along the Mexican border.
And like a Hollywood thriller, the murder-for-hire tale cuts back and forth across international lines. "This case illustrates we live in a world where borders and boundaries are increasingly irrelevant," said FBI Director Robert Mueller. According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in New York, the plot was revealed by an informant inside the world of the Mexican drug trade, a man paid by U.S. drug agents to rat out traffickers. The complaint describes the informant as someone who was previously charged for violating drug laws in the United States but got the charges dismissed by agreeing to cooperate with U.S. drug investigations. U.S. officials trusted the informant because he had proved reliable in the past and led to several drug seizures — and the informant was paid for those tips.

In May 2011, the informant allegedly met with a Texas man named Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen who also had an Iranian passport. The complaint doesn't say how the two were introduced, but Arbabsiar reportedly approached the informant, who he thought was an associate of a drug cartel well known for its violent tactics, to ask about his knowledge of explosives for an attack on a Saudi embassy. The informant reached out to his contacts in the United States to tell them all about it. Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he was told the informant was "somebody who was in one of the drug cartels, credible, long history, was fully capable of conducting the kind of operation the Iranian was asking for." "This guy brought it to us, and from there it was laid out in front of us as they went forward," the Michigan Republican said.

The complaint said Arbabsiar and the informant met several more times in Mexico over the next few months, with the informant secretly recording their conversations for U.S. authorities. The two spoke English and their discussions became more focused on a specific target for violence — the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Adel al-Jubeir, a U.S.-educated commoner sent to the United States to repair relations after the Sept. 11 attacks who has been ambassador since 2007. The complaint said Arbabsiar has fully confessed to his role in the operation and said he was recruited, funded and directed by Iran's special foreign actions unit known as the Quds Force. Arbabsiar said his cousin Abdul Reza Shahlai was a high-ranking member of the Quds Force who approached him this past spring to ask for his cooperation. Arbabsiar said he frequently traveled between the U.S. and Mexico for work and knew people he believed were in the drug trade, and his cousin asked him if he could recruit someone in the narcotics business for criminal activity.

U.S. officials say Shahlai has a violent past — the Bush administration accused him of planning a Jan. 20, 2007, attack in Karbala, Iraq, that killed five American soldiers and wounded three others. This time, according to U.S. officials, Shahlai and other Quds agents approved a plot to pay their Mexican drug contact $1.5 million for the death of the ambassador — making a $100,000 down payment to an account the informant provided. According to transcripts of their recorded conversations cited in the complaint, the informant told Arbabsiar he would kill the ambassador however he wanted — "blow him up or shoot him" — and Arbabsiar responded he should use whatever method was easiest. The plot eventually centered on targeting Al-Jubeir in his favorite restaurant and Arbabsiar was quoted as saying killing him alone would be better, "but sometime, you know, you have no choice." Arbabsiar dismisses the possibility that 100-150 others in the restaurant could be killed along with the ambassador as "no problem" and "no big deal."

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Sallow

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This is definitely not the work of the "establishment" types in Iran. Rogue elements? Yep.
 

CT9

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I will admit the whole situation is odd but believable and the timing adds another level to it. However, that maybe something you could say about most of things these days. I don't know, this has a gray area it isn't cut and dry. It'll be interesting to hear all the details...

I will say the combination of Iranian failures and how they portrayed the guy accused in this, it would make sense he ended up going to an informant about this. What did he do cruise around the border, walk up to the first guy around and say hey you know a hitman? He's like, 'Your in luck, I am a hitman' lol.
 

waltky

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Iran encroaching on the western hemisphere...
:eusa_eh:
What's Iran up to in Latin America? Alleged assassination plot deepens concerns.
October 12, 2011 - Iran's ties to Latin American leaders have been growing in recent years, but the alleged assassination plot against the Saudi ambassador to the US is drawing attention to its less savory activities.
The alleged plot by Iranian agents to hire a Mexican drug trafficker to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US has reignited the debate over Iran's intentions in Latin America. Iran has cozied up to several Latin American leaders in recent years as it inks projects to expand trade – and influence – in America's back yard. Many dismiss this as nothing but politics: perhaps a concern, but not a threat. Others voice outright fear that Hezbollah and supporters in Iran seek to attack US and Israeli interests with the help of drug cartels south of the border. The news of the alleged assassination plot by two agents tied to Iran is already raising the volume on this view.

“It is going to stir up a lot of interesting questions about Iranian connections in the Western Hemisphere,” says Ray Walser, an expert on Latin America at the conservative Heritage Foundation. Speaking to the Associated Press, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the foiled plot "creates a potential for international reaction that will further isolate Iran, that will raise questions about what they're up to, not only in the United States and Mexico."

Ahmadinejad, Chávez and their 'new world order'

While Iran has been expanding its presence with many countries in recent years, its his ties with Venezuela's anti-American socialist firebrand President Hugo Chávez that raise the most concern. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in fact, was supposed to visit President Chávez this September, days after emptying the United Nations chamber for raising questions over the events of 9/11. The trip was canceled at the last minute, but it would have been one of several reciprocal state visits over the past few years.

Last year, Chávez, on a worldwide tour that took him to Tehran, stood with President Ahmadinejad telling reporters they were committed to forming a “new world order. ” Iran has found allies too in the ALBA countries – those aligned with Venezuela, such as Bolivia and Nicaragua, in an alternative trade alliance. Perhaps most irksome to the US was the former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s openness to Tehran. During his administration he hosted Ahmadinejad, visited him, and supported Iran’s bid for a peaceful nuclear program.

Iran isolated? Not in Latin America.
See also:

Foiled Iran assassination plot underlines US-Mexico cooperation
October 12, 2011 - In some ways, attempting to employ Latin American criminals to carry out a terrorist act is the worst case scenario, but this case also shows how US-Mexico cooperation can stymie such actions.
The FBI charged two men, one tied to the Iranian IRGC's Qods force, with plotting to blow up a restaurant in Washington, D.C., in order to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US. One of the men attempted to contact a Mexican criminal organization (likely the Zetas) to pull off the job, but ended up meeting with DEA sources posing as cartel members instead. There were discussions of other potential attacks including some against the Saudi and Israeli embassies in DC. However, the killing of the Saudi ambassador seems to have been their main focus and they actually went through with wiring $100,000 to the source as a down payment for the attack. Some initial comments and analysis below:

1. There are questions about how high up in the Iranian government this plot went and it seems uncharacteristically bold for Iran to act on US soil, but let's be clear that this was a real plot. The evidence is rather clear that officials within Iran's Qods force were involved, approved the operation, assisted in sending money, pressed for their US contact to work faster, and are now being sanctioned by the US government.

2. In some ways, this plot is the worst case scenario some people have dreamed up over the past decade ("What if the Islamic terrorists teamed up with the Latin American criminal groups...?"). On the other hand, the clearly amateurish nature of Iran's involvement here shows that we have less to fear. The fact that an Iranian Qods-linked official is poking around the border looking for Zetas sicarios and ends up with the DEA informant suggests that Iran and Hezbollah have far fewer ties to the Mexican organized crime scene than some analysts would want you to believe. If they were as linked and conspiring as some analysts claim, they would have just picked up the phone and called their friends to either set up the operation or at least verify that the guy they are paying $1.5 million to is legit. Instead, they screwed up and got caught relatively easily.

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LoneLaugher

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Oh! Look! A thread where anti-American nutters are developing a new conspiracy theory. One nut introduces doubt....another questions timing.....and we even have a "moderate" who says that he doesn't think it is a fake story but says the "timing" adds another level.

WTG......all you need is a constant ' Was Iran Plot A Holder Plan?" scroll on FOX and you've got enough to take the minds of dummies off of jobs for a few days.
 

Soggy in NOLA

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No, it's real, Bush isn't president any longer... then it would have been "he played on our fears!!"
 

Missourian

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Totally concocted.

Deflection from Fast & Furious, fake crisis.

Now, in Clinton-esque fashion, Obama will try to extricate himself from his scandal and low approval numbers lobbing some cruise missles at Iran.
 

Missourian

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Totally concocted.

Deflection from Fast & Furious, fake crisis.

Now, in Clinton-esque fashion, Obama will try to extricate himself from his scandal and low approval numbers lobbing some cruise missles at Iran.
And the left will cheer.
 

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