WASHINGTON DC: Two men, including one having connections with Pakistani spy agency and possessing several Iranian and Pakistani visas, were arrested by the FBI here for posing as federal agents and ingratiating with federal law enforcement, secretive service, and defence community.
Haider Ali, 35, claimed connection to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the spy agency of Pakistan, and had several visas from Pakistan and Iran, a federal prosecutor told a court in Washington DC earlier this week, as per a report in The Wall Street Journal.
The US government, however, had not verified Ali’s claims, the prosecutor told the court, the report said.
Ali along with his associate Arian Taherzadeh allegedly impersonated as agents of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and gifted rent-free apartments, iPhones, and surveillance equipment to the officials of the Secret Service and the DHS, the prosecutor told the court.
The duo claimed their involvement in the investigation into the 2021 US Capitol attack. They lived and partied in a luxury apartment building in southeast Washington DC with employees of the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies for one and half a year.
During their stay at the building, Ali and Taherzadeh spent several months wining and dining with government employees and contractors in order to find their way into the inner circle of the law enforcement agencies.
Their possible motives as well as the source of funding for their lavish lifestyle were under investigation.
Taherzadeh allegedly offered to buy a rifle worth USD 2,000 for a Secret Service agent deployed in the security detail of First Lady Jill Biden, the WSJ reported.
A report in the Daily Mail, UK said several high-end weapons as well as a binder with information about residents in Crossing DC including many federal agents and those working for the White House, the official residence and workplace of the US president, were recovered from their apartment.
Following the arrest of the suspected Pakistani spies, four members of the Secret Service were placed on administrative leave for their alleged involvement in the case pending enquiry, as per federal prosecutors.