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

Prosecutors are looking at leveling extra fees at two adult men who they accuse of impersonating Division of Homeland Safety agents, an assistant U.S. legal professional explained on Thursday.

Haider Ali, 35, and Arian Taherzadeh, 40, ended up arrested on Wednesday in a extraordinary FBI raid of a D.C. Navy Yard luxurious apartment elaborate on fees of impersonating federal officers.

At a Thursday courtroom listening to, D.C. federal prosecutor Josh Rothstein instructed U.S. Justice of the peace Decide Michael Harvey for the District of Columbia that the two essential to be retained at the rear of bars pending demo, expressing that FBI brokers experienced learned a weapons cache during the look for.

The hearings, held sequentially for Taherzadeh and then for Ali, were being delayed and interrupted as the community defender assigned to the circumstance spoke with her consumers for what appeared to be the 1st time. Prosecutors shifted a little in the aspects involving the two hearings, telling the judge that the authorities was nonetheless in the course of action 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 need to be freed pending trial. Choose Harvey scheduled a detention hearing in the circumstance for 3:30 p.m. on Friday.

Prosecutors submitted the preliminary rates against the pair on Wednesday, just one day immediately after Top secret Company agents who have been the pair’s alleged targets ended up suspended. According to an FBI affidavit, the alleged plan was purportedly uncovered right after a March 15 assault on a postal worker at the developing, which led postal inspectors to carry out first interviews with the two defendants.

The Wednesday look for, Rothstein explained, uncovered “ballistic vests, system armor, gas masks, tactical law enforcement breaching devices, zip ties, handcuffs, firearms storage conditions for substantial and tiny arms,” as properly as entire body cameras and a “drone regular with what’s used by SWAT groups.”

The feds, Rothstein claimed, also located little arms, ammunition, and attachments for a long gun and “sniper spotting gear.”

Taherzadeh and Ali were accused in an FBI affidavit on Wednesday of seeking to “ingratiate” themselves with a amount of Key Assistance brokers who lived in the Navy Lawn advanced, giving brokers gifts though by themselves posing as users of the Office of Homeland Stability.

“We haven’t confirmed the veracity of these statements, but [Ali] made claims to witnesses that he had connections to the the ISI,” Rothstein mentioned, referring to Pakistan’s intelligence provider.

Rothstein also claimed that Ali’s passport confirmed 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 developing just as it was initial opening up for rentals. Rothstein stated that, obtaining rented 5 models in the advanced, the two established about striving to “infiltrate” legislation enforcement and defense networks, talking with neighbors who worked for the Mystery Assistance and the Section of Homeland Safety.

During the Wednesday research of the duo’s residences, brokers purportedly observed a “binder with a record of each individual resident in their condominium complicated,” which incorporated regulation enforcement users. The pair also experienced files labeled “law enforcement delicate,” Rothstein stated.

The prosecutor mentioned that added expenses may consist of possession of a firearm and conspiracy for equally of the defendants and, for Taherzadeh, destruction of evidence.

Soon after currently being detained on Wednesday, Rothstein said, Taherzadeh instructed arresting officers that he had “deleted components from a Fb site associated with legislation enforcement activity” immediately after mastering of the probe. All through the hearing, each Taherzadeh and Ali experimented with to interrupt and accurate Rothstein, with the choose telling them every that “it does not aid you to say everything.”

In a single illustration, Rothstein explained that Taherzadeh’s passport showed a “foreign journey to the Middle East in the previous three many years.”

“I have not been to the Center East at all,” the defendant replied.

50 percent an hour afterwards, in the course of the hearing for Ali, Rothstein clarified.

“I was seeking at the journey report, and that is what confirmed the excursion to London,” he reported.