Saturday, April 13, 2024

FBI claims Iranian spy on mission to kill US officials over Gen. Soleimani assassination

The FBI has alleged that an Iranian intelligence agent is recruiting operatives in the United States to help kill current and former government officials who were involved in the January 2020 assassination of Tehran’s top general Qassem Soleimani.

Majid Dastjani Farahani is wanted for questioning in connection with the plot to target US officials, the FBI’s Miami office said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

An FBI wanted poster for the 41-year-old Farahani claims that he has acted or purported to act on behalf of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security while recruiting individuals for operations in the US.

Farahani is engaged in “lethal targeting” of US senior officials, including members of former President Donald Trump’s administration, to take revenge for the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, the FBI claimed.

General Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike near the Baghdad International Airport while traveling to meet with Adil Abdul-Mahdi, Iraq’s then-prime minister.

Some Iranian officials made no secret of their desire to avenge Soleimani’s death by killing Trump and other US leaders, such as former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the military commanders involved in the assassination.

“God willing, we are looking to kill Trump [and] Pompeo,” IRGC aerospace force commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh told a state-run broadcast outlet last year.

John Bolton, who served as Trump’s national security advisor, has been the target of multiple Iranian assassination plots, according to US authorities. The federal government has provided 24-hour security details for Bolton and another senior Trump aide, Robert O’Brien, reportedly at an annual cost of about $12 million, because of potential threats from Iran.

The US Department of Justice indicted an alleged IRGC operative, Shahram Poursafi, in August 2022, claiming he had tried to arrange the murder of Bolton. He allegedly arranged to pay his recruits $300,000 to carry out the killing.

“Iran has a history of plotting to assassinate individuals in the US it deems a threat, but the US government has a longer history of holding accountable those who threaten the safety of our citizens,” Larissa L. Knapp, an assistant director in the FBI’s national security branch, stated at the time.

Farahani recruited individuals with connections to “religious sites, businesses and other facilities” in the US to do surveillance work, the FBI claimed.

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