Open Thread: The Case of Fake Federal Personnel in the Navy Yard [UPDATE-1]

[NB: check the byline, thanks. Update(s) if any will appear at the bottom of this post. /~Rayne]

This thread is for all discussion related to the bizarre case in Washington D.C. which began to unfold yesterday afternoon/evening with a raid on an apartment building:

Mike Balsamo-Associated Press had one of the earliest reports:

In a nutshell, two men have been arrested for impersonating federal employees after the U.S. Postal Inspection Service began an investigation into the alleged assault of a postal carrier in/near the building raided yesterday in the D.C. Navy Yard area.

I don’t even know how to categorize this story yet. On the face of it I’m going with this being an intelligence story.

Can’t even be certain whose intelligence it is at work if this is indeed an intelligence story:

– one person arrested has a Persian (Iranian?) name;
– the other person arrested has an Arabic name;
– a third person mentioned during the course of reporting has a Russian/Belarusian name and their gender hasn’t been clarified;
– the person with a Persian name is linked to a mess of corporations, some located in the Midwest, linked to yet more persons who may/may not be related to this unfolding case;
– there’s a lot money involved though it’s an open question whose money it is;
– there are expensive professional office spaces involved;
– the suborning or bribery of Secret Service personnel is really, REALLY problematic;
– the amount of detail generated to create this operation/program suggests even more money involved.

Bring everything you have about this developing story to this thread along with any other stray cat and dog topics.

If there are updates to this story they will appear at the bottom of this post.

~ ~ ~

UPDATE-1 — 12:30 AM EST 08-APR-2022 —

No big developments, just a preliminary timeline based on news reports and the affidavit filed with D.C.’s district court (affidavit via Google Docs).

2006 — Incorporation of On Point Productions, LLC, in Missouri by Arian Taherzadeh.

June 11, 2018 — first post on United States Special Police Facebook page.

March 1, 2019 — listed by International Association of Police Chiefs as “Taherzadeh, Arian, Special Agent, US Special Police” in Washington, D.C. [Source (pdf)]

September 23, 2019 — On Point Productions, LLC name changed to US Special Police, LLC in Missouri.

October 16, 2019 — archive date of USSP website (archive is empty).

early 2021 — “Metro Police did a search of Taherzadeh’s unit when a person from a surrounding apartment building made a call reporting a sighting of firearms in his 3-bedroom corner unit through an open window.” [Source]

Febuary 2021-January 2022 (TBD) — At some point during this period of time, Taherzadeh introduced himself to Witness 3, a Secret Service member, as an HSI agent working in a gang unit with DHS.

Febuary 2021-January 2022 (TBD) –Taherzadeh told Witness 5, a Secret Service member, he was with HSI.

June 2021 (TBD) — Taherzadeh introduced himself to Witness 4, a DHS-HSI Document Analyst Expert, and told then he knew they were with HSI or US Citizenship Immigration Service. Taherzadeh told Witness 4 he was undercover for HSI which Witness 4 couldn’t validate.

July 2021 — Taherzadeh told Witness 1 later interviewed by FBI that he was a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), that Ali was with HSI as well.

July 4, 2021 (TBD) — Witness 2, a Secret Service agent, was introduced to Taherzadeh and Ali as HSI agent and analyst respectively.

January 2022 (TBD) — Witness 5 moved out of apartment Taherzadeh had provided; Witness 5 saw Taherzadeh move “law enforcement and computer equipment” into the vacated apartment.

February 2, 2022 — Taherzadeh sent Witness 2 a photo claiming he was attending HSI training; investigation determined it was a stock photo.

March 14, 2022 — U.S. Postal Inspector (USPIS) began investigation into alleged assault of mail carrier; inspector was told Taherzadeh and Ali, believed to be DHS personnel, may have been witnesses.

TBD, 2022 — USPIS interviewed Taherzadeh and Ali who made claims they were DHS/HSI/”special police”/deputized/working on gangs and January 6 investigation.

April 6, 2022 — “A member of building management, Kelly Cianciola, sent a statement to Crossing DC tenants around 11:30 a.m. Thursday claiming that the 4:00 p.m. raid came after search warrants were presented to front desk staff due to an FBI investigation.” [Source] (Why the heads up?)

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349 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Please stay on topic in other threads related to the Durham special counsel investigation, thanks. This one is wide open, though.

    • Eric Groot says:

      Re Taherzade: in Loudon County, Virginia a person by that name is being sued for warrant in debt by a jewelry store (for the second time). The garnishee is “DFAS CL/L in Cleveland. That is a DOD entity responsible for paying DOD employees. Perhaps Taherzade is/was such, or he falsely claimed to be such to obtain credit.

      NB the Taherzade in DC has no middle initial I am aware of; the one with the many corps is middle name Eugene. Just being careful to ID the right guy.

    • greenbird says:

      way downthread:
      links for journo-tweep’s thread etc and
      link for her reuters report.
      nuff for today, ya’ll – from me.

  2. Rugger9 says:

    Well, it is still very early on in the investigation but one thing I look for when sleuthing is who would benefit. Why Jill Biden’s security detail and not someone with actual pull in the WH? This isn’t the last maladministration where getting Jarvanka’s ear was the key to succeeding in getting Individual-1’s support.

    I also see in the news that the DE feebs are looking at another Biden snipe hunt with Hunter, which of course is getting massive air time. While the courtier press still doggedly tries to arrange a close election, it ignores all of the stuff with Ginni Thomas’ communications and footsie with the J6 rioters.

    https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2022/04/lol-nothing-matters-3

    May he rest in peace, but Eric Boehlert would be all over this discrepancy along with Charlie Pierce, Dan Froomkin, Eugene Robinson, etc., et al. It’s precisely why ‘flyover country’ is so radicalized, because outfits like Sinclair Media prevent alternatives to the approved MAGA narrative from being told. I was amused to see the study about how Faux viewers would become significantly better informed by watching CNN instead for a short period (IIRC it was a month).

    As for Eric Boehlert’s passing, it was apparently a NJ Transit train that hit him. That means there will be a formal report about the trespasser incident which should settle any questions or head off conspiracy theories. Caltrain here has the same issue.

    • P J Evans says:

      In SoCal, Metrolink (and Amtrak) have problems with people on the tracks. They don’t always get killed. (I remember one morning there was an idjit jogging down the tracks, back to train, with headphones on. He probably lost some lifespan when he finally noticed the train that was going very … slowly … behind him.)

      • Desider says:

        Oddly Judge Michalski out of New York tried to kill himself by train a couple months ago, but the train went too slow, so tried it again yesterday via gun this time I guess, success 2nd go round.

    • Scott Johnson says:

      Unless someone is thrown onto (or tied to) the tracks, if they get hit by a train, it is almost certainly their own fault.

      Pedestrians or vehicles being struck by our light-rail system here is an unfortunately common experience. In some cases, they’re suicides; in most cases they simply weren’t paying attention or thought they could beat the train. I have a hard time recalling any such incident where the transit authority or the train operator was determined to be at fault.

      A tragedy.

      • Baltimark says:

        95% agree re fault assignment in most cases. But in places where light rail runs inline on city streets, running parallel to car and bike traffic, there’s a broader range of potential contributing factors. And once every couple of yesrs here in Baltimore, a light rail train runs a light while running inline like this on a street and instigates an accident. Incidents of the latter type are very rare but if the former, less infrequent than one would hope.

    • Krisy Gosney says:

      Maybe Mrs Biden would be lesser on guard or not have staff to kept thing hushed in front of SS. So a compromised SS agent/s could listen for blackmail material or stuff to twist into Fox outrage.

    • Tracy Lynn says:

      I think the federal gov’t has jurisdiction over even regional rail like Caltrain, so it is responsible for investigating train fatalities.

      • P J Evans says:

        NTSB handles a lot of accident investigations.
        (Locomotives weigh at least 100K pounds. They win most arguments with smaller vehicles.)

  3. pdaly says:

    So many crazy aspects to this developing story.

    My first reaction, what sparks an altercation with a U.S. Mail letter carrier?
    (I always assumed it was just angry house pets doing the attacking!)

    The Secret Service members accepted from these 2 arrested men the free rent and gifts and now are sitting on their hands while an investigation is conducted.
    Do the Secret Service agents continue to live in that bugged building rent-free?
    Can they afford to pay the rent on their own? (I assume they owe taxes on the $40K+ in gifts if they did not think to pay them in real time)
    Or if they are suddenly homeless do they become (again?) targets for manipulation?

    With the limited details in the news today, ‘willing participants’ seems more likely than ‘innocently hoodwinked.’

      • pdaly says:

        Oh, I’m not second guessing the Postal Inspectors’ right to investigate, I’m just wondering aloud what the altercation was about. It’s mail delivery.
        And was the altercation with one of the two arrested men? Or were they incidentally discovered in the process of the Postal Inspector’s investigation of an altercation there?

        • bmaz says:

          Heh I don’t know. But there is a LOT more to this story yet to fully come out. And it will be fun to watch.

          • Desider says:

            Somehow “Jill’s diary” and “Project Veritas sock puppets” just fell out of my Clue set. Is this a Hasbro reboot?

        • Rayne says:

          I want a local DC journalist to go track down the police report(s) on the alleged assault of a postal carrier in/near the building which was raided. Somebody needs to confirm that story was real and not a manufactured excuse, for starters. It’s likely genuine but the report will also contain more details and spawn more questions.

          Who was questioned about the assault? Who told the USPIS to check with the “DHS” folks who lived in the building? Why did they believe they were DHS — badges, logos, addresses on mail, etc.?

          • Molly Pitcher says:

            It would also be good for a local reporter to check who owns the building. It struck me as odd that there were several comments about the extent of the surveillance equipment in the building that the residents seemed to know about.

          • Drew says:

            It really struck me that it was the postal inspectors who uncovered this. There are two likely branches of what’s happening & I’m not at all sure which is more likely: 1) The story about the assault on the postal employee is true, and the Postal Inspectors fortuitously uncovered something that had gone undetected until now or 2) the assault story is a cover for an ongoing investigation and somehow the Postal Inspection service was taking the lead on it. Either one sounds scary to me: 1) means that there was totally undetected participation by Secret Service employees working in the WH in shit that’s described as “undercover” “gang related” and intelligence/espionage and 2) indicates that for some reason Secret Service and DHS + FBI were somehow not trusted enough to do this on their own.

            • Doctor My Eyes says:

              The postal aspect also makes me wonder, yet again, why DeJoy is still in charge at the USPS.

              • bmaz says:

                Has nothing to do with DeJoy. But the Postal Board had to be changed out because they are the ones that can oust DeJoy. That is in a way too long process, but moving finally.

          • Ravenclaw says:

            Something very weird – news report (was it the Daily Mail story?) that these apartments loaned to SS agents, that supposedly had annual rent in the $40K-plus range, were never actually paid for. A representative of the management company said as much, and when asked why, replied simply “government.” It’s hard to believe that an experienced outfit like Tishman-Speyer would be so easily conned. Maybe these guys were really, really good at being persuasive, but still! Most folks don’t look at a government contract as a reason not to charge anything!

        • Dr Noisewater says:

          I read from an article this morning that these two jabronis were witnesses to whatever the Postal Service came to respond to if that helps.

        • subtropolis says:

          The inspector was investigating an unrelated incident. While speaking with a resident of the building, that person suggested that the inspector talk to the perps, who’d supposedly set up surveillance cameras that may have recorded the incident. The inspector then became suspicious when one of the perps asserted that he was a member of some make-believe law enforcement agency.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Really bad opsec to expose yourself to postal inspectors. They have a reputation for being the Eliot Ness of federal investigators.

        This was always going to be a high risk op. Posing as federal agents is a felony. If it involved corrupting details involved with White House security, that’s a straight up assault on their charges. Mail and wire fraud also seem to be involved, as do bribery, attempting to corrupt federal officials, filing false paperwork involving weapons purchases. The list goes on.

        What objectives were worth laying such a mountain of bread crumbs leading to exposure, arrest, and probable conviction on so many charges? Or, as Rayne wonders, was there a false flag element to this, a desire that it be exposed?

        • bmaz says:

          First encounter with them was long ago. I was like “Lol, Postal Inspectors, WTF is this”? A friend warned me, but I was still cocky. Then I went and interviewed the two on that case, and it was immediately apparent that they were pretty buttoned down and thorough. Have not had all that many cases that touched on them, but they were straight up and really good on all of them.

          • timbo says:

            Sadly, here in California 35 years ago, it was apparent that there were corrupt postal inspectors in the Oakland/Hayward district. I have not had any occasion for direct contact with Postal Inspectors since then so am hopeful that not all postal inspectors were as bad as the ones I did have contact with back then. Ugh

          • Ryan says:

            I worked a vote fraud case with a postal inspector about 7 years ago (mail ballots). He and his team were excellent. Got confession and conviction.

        • Doctor My Eyes says:

          In the vein of possible false flag, it struck me as very odd that other residents in the building said the men had surveillance set up in the building and claimed that they could access all of their cell phones. Just so damn weird. People in the building thought nothing of their neighbors making these claims? No one was bothered enough by this to make a phone call? But most of all, if you want to keep a low profile, why the hell are you saying these things to your neighbors? Perhaps they were using techniques possibly common in some other country . . . I don’t know, maybe Russia or Iran . . . in which gangsters can keep themselves safe by making it clear that they have plenty of juice and are king of the mountain? I’m impatient to know. It is also possible for paranoid me to get freaked out if I think of these things too much in the early morning hours.

          • pdaly says:

            Totally agree, Doctor My Eyes.

            It seemed no secret to the other residents that they were being surveilled. Hoping that means some of the residents tipped off their agencies.

            Nevertheless, no reports so far of surprise that we are used to hearing when breaking news puts a community on notice about bad characters among them. No quotes so far of ‘He/[the two men] seemed like such [a] nice guy[s].”

        • posaune says:

          I’m wondering about the vacancy rate in that building prior to these goings-on. The Navy Yard is a very hot area for development (high-rise mixed-use), even through the covid months. Lots of competing condo/rental unit real estate. Along with the eviction moratorium, have to wonder if the management was floating a 1/2 occupied building of people eligible for rent delays, and was that desperate to fill the building.

      • BobCon says:

        The paranoid perspective is they brought in Postal because they didn’t think they could trust anyone else.

        Probably not that, but it would be wild if it was.

          • KM Williams says:

            I would not be very surprised to hear that the Trump administration had damaged & corrupted the Secret Service as much as they did so many other Fed Gov Agencies.

            • Ginevra diBenci says:

              Trump cultivated a MAGA core within the Secret Service, bringing around him loyalists to the point where one served simultaneously high up on his campaign while remaining in his post on on the Service. Carol Leonnig wrote a book about it. Needless to say, these officers are supposed to be nonpartisan, and Trump destroyed that.

      • Raven Eye says:

        There are tons of criminal investigations by law enforcement agencies, at many levels, that end up involving the U.S. Mail, and therefore the Postal Inspectors.

        Also, USPS has to make sure the end-to-end process is secure. Federal agencies can mail Confidential and Secret material — of course using the proper procedures.

    • LadyHawke says:

      Did someone other than a recipient demand access to or took mail/delivery and the postal carrier rightfully refused and reported it? “That’s my neighbor’s. He asked me to get it for him.” Funny how the smallest thread can unravel a huge ball of yarn.

    • Krisy Gosney says:

      Maybe Postperson went to deliver a bigger package directly to their door and the criminals assumed the postal delivery was a ruse to spy on them? Or the criminals didn’t know the US Postal Service has investigative arms and they were just being puffed up jerks that day? Or their subscription to A-Hole Monthly magazine was late arriving?

    • omphaloscepsis says:

      https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/frequently-asked-questions-on-gift-taxes

      “Who pays the gift tax?

      The donor is generally responsible for paying the gift tax. Under special arrangements the donee may agree to pay the tax instead.”

      https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/gift-tax

      “The gift tax is a tax on the transfer of property by one individual to another while receiving nothing, or less than full value, in return. The tax applies whether or not the donor intends the transfer to be a gift.

      The gift tax applies to the transfer by gift of any type of property. You make a gift if you give property (including money), or the use of or income from property, without expecting to receive something of at least equal value in return. If you sell something at less than its full value or if you make an interest-free or reduced-interest loan, you may be making a gift.”

      “expecting to receive something of a least equal value in return” sounds like a valid excuse for the donors in this case, so they may be off the hook for unpaid taxes. The least of their worries.

      • John Colvin says:

        For income tax purposes, true gifts are excluded from the recipient’s income. However, the test for what is a true gift is whether it was made out of detached and disinterested generosity (Duberstein). If the secret service agents knew that the payors were expecting them to do something in return for the rent (even if they believed that the impersonators were true federal agents), it is not a gift and income taxes must be paid of the value of what was received.

        • Doctor My Eyes says:

          Also too, there is a limit on how large a gift can be–I think $12,000 a year these days.

          • John Colvin says:

            A gift can be of any amount. The $16k figure is the amount of the annual exclusion, i.e., the amount of gifting per recipient that can be done without the donor having to report the gift on a gift tax return. (Amounts used to pay the educational or health care expenses of the recipient do not count towards the $16k.) Even if it gets reported on a gift tax return, there is no tax due unless aggregate gift and estate transfers exceed a set figure – the lifetime exemption amount. Currently, this number is $12.06 million, or over $24 million for a married couple. Relatively few people pay gift tax these days.

  4. Layne Ainsworth says:

    By “…a mess of corporations, some located in the Midwest…” do you mean South Dakota?

    I am from there. A fair number of money-laundering and Russian-backed shenanigans use SD’s lax LLC oversight and laissez-faire attitudes (filed under “business friendly”) to obfuscate sources of cash.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      South Dakota, like Wyoming, Nevada, and Delaware, is famous for enabling corporate secrecy, which enables tax fraud and other crimes, like money laundering.

          • Rayne says:

            See the two of four companies mentioned here:

            These four companies are linked to Arian Taherzadeh as an executive:

            Cti Financial Group LLC — Washington, DC; Kansas City, MO

            Rayne Marketing LLC — Liberty, MO

            Cti Group, Inc. — Fairfax, VA

            Sirari Holdings, Inc — Washington, DC; Arlington, VA

            So no, not St. Louis.

            • viget says:

              Hmmm…I bet the KC star will be all over this soon. Genuinely surprised it’s not the Lou.

              • Rayne says:

                Sure hope so since Person-1’s CV/resume says he “Designed a developed website & SQL database for City of Kansas City, Missouri, Animal Control Division for online pet licensing & renewals and fee payments for pet owners.

                Okay, sure. Right.

                • blueedredcounty says:

                  Forgive me for being glib, but your handle is attached to one of the LLCs.
                  I thought you’d say, “Hey, wait a minute…” or at least, “It’s not me!!!”

                  Conspiracy theorists…on your mark…get set…GO! ;)

                  • Rayne says:

                    I noted it last night in a different thread. I’m sure Rayne, Louisiana has a lot more in common with Rayne Marketing, LLC than I do.

              • Peterr says:

                You would lose that bet. The only things the Star has published are two AP stories and a re-write based on the AP, with no local angle to the investigation at all.

        • Ravenclaw says:

          The college Taherzadeh claims to have attended is in Missouri, and I tend to believe that claim because it isn’t ultra-famous, so there are several strands connecting him there. Maybe his home state? Or, if he’s not US-born, where he entered as a student?

          • Ravenclaw says:

            The registrar’s office at Park U. states that he never completed any courses there. However, they had some record of him (including a date of birth), so clearly he did enroll at some time. Presumably he either withdrew from every class, failed them all, or just disappeared into the air. (If by chance he is from overseas, enrolling may have been one of his first ruses – a way to get a visa? But he’s quite possibly US-born of course.)

          • Ryan says:

            You can learn a lot from obituaries.

            I don’t care to give names of people who aren’t involved except by being related to him, but google Taherzadeh Missouri -Haider (the latter to avoid your search being overwhelmed with recent news articles) and you’ll quickly find some links. I think I’ve figured out his mother, who seems to have been from more traditional Euro-American stock. All her previous addresses as listed by those semi-reliable online identity pages are in the KC area. I would guess he was likely born there, and certainly grew up there.

            After all his middle name is Eugene.

            But much more interesting is that tracking some of those relatives, I’ve found Arian’s FB page, which is still live. Not much to it. No friends, no About, only a handful of posts, mostly seeking contributions for police charities. He seems to have had a relationship with an exec at a data center company. The page is here:
            https://www.facebook.com/ari.eugene.t

            The most interesting thing is that he may have gone at some points by Ari Eugene. (ie, w/out Taherzadeh.)

            Googling Ari Taherzadeh opens some new avenues, such as his Quora profile, where he repeatedly answered questions about the Secret Service roughly 3 years ago, including “what kind of gun would a Secret Service agent carry while protecting the Vice President \(oo)/.

            Without a Quora account, I can’t determine the exact date. Maybe someone can log in. But the info I do see says 3y for two of the questions, 2y for one of them, at least implying his interest in the White House protection detail predates the current resident couple. (My understanding is that if it were less than 1 year, it would read 11m, for instance, so 2y implies prior to 4/9/2020, etc.)

            • Ryan says:

              Someone on twitter as iamrachelwolf pursued this vein earlier and further, if with less discretion about naming people who likely have no involvement. If you’re interested, read more there.

  5. Thomas says:

    https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/07/politics/fbi-arrests-federal-officer-impersonation/index.html

    According to CNN, two of the men (Persian and Arab names) were discovered by a postal inspector investigating an assault on a carrier. They were interviewed and identified themselves as “US Special Police investigating Jan 6”

    Whereupon, further checks on their false representations revealed them to be imposters who have posed as a variety of law enforcement officials (including DHS).

    This article says that they have been operating for TWO YEARS and that four Secret Service Agents have been placed on leave and stripped of all credentials and access pending investigation.

    There’s no mention of the Belorussian accomplice or of ties to Midwest corporations in this story. It does help to keep track of which source says what.
    I smell intelligence op, too.
    I think none of these men are the boss.

    Whoever set this up, they recruited an Arab, an Iranian and a Belorussian to make some kind of propaganda out of those facts, in the event of exposure.

    The cover stories of the imposters (DHS) indicate that the organizer has an interest in immigration policy.

    The offers of weapons and apartments is an attempt at a kompromat operation, and that is a typical Russian operation.

    More details about when the men began operating and their times of travel will reveal more context and perhaps clarify the purpose.

    If the “Belorussian ” is a female, she may be the contact for the organizer, but probably not the organizer herself. Another characteristic of Russian operations.

    Local news divulges that they were recruiting Secret Service and other kinds of law enforcement with a ritual and a proof of loyalty test (spying on designated defense contractors)
    These are features of some kind of domestic white nationalist organization, like the Oathkeepers.
    Some combination of foreign intelligence op and domestic terrorist props. That’s my preliminary conclusion.
    The ongoing, expensive aspect of the operation points to a rich domestic crackpot or Russian intelligence as the organizer.

    The intel and kompromat objectives point to Russians, or to Russian tactics being used by a white nationalist organizer with considerable means.

    • Rayne says:

      I want to point out the name linked to the two men arrested is Russian/Belarusian; so far there’s no indication of a solid relationship between them or the actual ethnic/national origin of this third person. The person’s given name is often given to girls rather than boys in the US, but it’s a common nickname for boys and girls in Russia, a diminutive of Alexander/Alexandra. The last name is the masculine variant rather than the feminine. Again, no indication of a solid relationship to Person-1 Arian Taherzadeh and Person-2 Haider Ali.

      We could be looking at persons related to an extra-national organization like a private military corporation. We simply don’t have enough information yet.

      • Thomas says:

        Even without the name of the Belorussian or any connection to that third person, the intel and kompromat objectives and the tactics used are similar to a Russian intelligence operation.
        Gangs, rightwing militia organizations and organized crime also use such indoctrination rituals, but the intel objectives, in addition to the kompromat tactics, are what indicates a Russian intelligence op.
        Given the recent indications of fifth column right activists associating themselves as fans of Putin, I can’t rule out a purely domestic criminal operation.

        • Rayne says:

          Are these the techniques used that much different from those of KSA or other countries? The public doesn’t hear a lot about them.

          • Thomas says:

            I think Ali is a COO of a Limo Company sort of like I am the CEO of Violet Purple Book Media.
            He’s a limo driver, I’m a self publisher.
            I doubt the KSA has anything to do with these crimes. Ali and the Persian are cutouts, IMHO, and why wouldn’t a limo driver take a job doing something exciting?

          • Thomas says:

            Thanks much for the article giving a more specific time frame.
            However, need I remind anyone that Jill Biden was not the First Lady 18 months ago?
            I had a hunch earlier that these two imposters were involved in other operations initially.
            We don’t yet have a timeline for each Secret Service Agent.
            Where the other agents were assigned can shed more light on whether this is domestic or foreign based.

            • YancyFaith says:

              For some reason, I thought the First Lady referenced was Melania before seeing your post mentioning 18 months ago. Maybe because Dr. Biden is less flashy and as an academic is probably more boring in comparison to the genius model (or model genius?)

              Weren’t there rumors of an affair with her SS agent? (There almost always are.) Maybe her husband was spying on her? Or they were establishing their credentials to be panelists on Fox News down the line?

    • eyesoars says:

      Except for the bit that it ‘seems to involve real money’, it sounds like something out of a Project Veritas farce. Not that there’s any actual hint that it is.

    • Ravenclaw says:

      Two tidbits and one possible amendment to what’s being bandied about:

      1. The BBC says that there were 4 secret service agents plus 1 actual DHS employee. (Also, only one of the agents was on Dr. Biden’s detail; we don’t know where the others were positioned.)

      2. The assault on a postal delivery person seems to be unrelated to the whole business. It just happened in the same building where the two men lived, and they were being interviewed as potential witnesses to the assault.

      3. What little I’m seeing about the recruitment scam doesn’t necessarily refer to agents being recruited into some secret organization. It might! But the reports in the news so far could equally well be read as referring to a fake recruiting into DHS/federal agent jobs. Prospects not only had to get shot with an air rifle (allegedly testing their pain tolerance) but also to conduct investigations of an existing agent (i.e., gather intel?).

      • timbo says:

        I wonder if these scary clowns tried to get these postal inspectors hooked on whatever gravy train they’ve been handing out to the already compromised… kudos for the Inspectors for following up on what was likely obvious hokum.

        • Ravenclaw says:

          That sounds very likely. Even BMAZ remarked that when he first encountered Postal Inspectors he expected them to be nitwits, then quickly realized that they were highly professional. If these guys had succeeded in bamboozling agents from several national law enforcement agencies they probably figured a couple of glorified mailmen would be a breeze.

  6. sleutherone says:

    Josh Kovensky at TPM has posted an arrest affidavit. As an agent I would be concerned if other agents were tracking my cell phone at will.

    https://talkingpointsmemo. com/news/read-two-dc-residents-impersonated-dhs-agents-tried-to-trick-secret-service-feds-say

    • P J Evans says:

      from the story:

      When postal inspectors interviewed the two, the affidavit says, they ID-ed themselves as federal agents — supposedly members of the U.S. Special Police Investigation Unit and as “deputized ‘special police’” with D.C. city government, all focused on “undercover gang-related investigations” and Jan. 6-related probes.

      The postal inspectors continued their investigation, the affidavit says.

      That revealed a black GMC SUV, outfitted with emergency lights, that the pair described as their “official DHS vehicle,” that the two told residents Uncle Sam was footing the bill for the multiple apartments they rented in the complex, and that they had set up “video surveillance” of the building, telling their neighbors that they could access their cell phones at any time.

      • Troutwaxer says:

        On one hand, this sounds like an intelligence operation. On the other hand, it also sounds like someone with poor mental health playing Federal Agent. Not sure which way to interpret.

  7. Silly but True says:

    The recent track record on ethics of Secret Service (“not all agents”) is horrendous. Carol Leonnig‘S recent “Zero Fail” is good start, although any run-of-mill Google search of “Secret Service scandals” will be eye-opening.

    If agents were bribed it actually wouldn’t be their worst offenses of last several years.

    Being charitable to the bad apples, their conduct strikes me as manifestation of Dostoyevsky’s narcissist “Superman” condition: “I must deal with problems you mere mortals cannot even comprehend, so leave me unfettered by the expectations of normal mortals’ behaviors.” They are underfunded and overworked, and cannot ever be wrong even a single time. Those are facts as well as an excuse. But things like this, and the underage prostitution, and all of their other bad acts need to be rooted out. Really, really bad stuff that has risked multiple POTUSes’ lives and families are nearly continuous going back some 15 years. A house-cleaning may be in order.

    • Thomas says:

      https://www.fox5dc.com/news/fbi-arrests-two-men-accused-of-impersonating-federal-law-enforcement-officers

      This is a local news team reporting on the story. They claim that investigators told them that the two men recruited SS agents with an indocrination ritual that seems to combine a juvenile pain endurance test and a Russian kompromat style “loyalty test”

      Read the story, please

      This is why I think there are elements of a white nationalist outfit like the Oathkeepers, and elements of a Russian intelligence operation.

      The ritual is juvenile, the objectives are professional, and this is indicates an organizer and financier above these guys.

      The organizer may be a domestic rich crackpot or a Russian agent coordinating with domestic white nationalists or some combination of these things.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I would find a more credible source than Fox before recommending that others here to read it.

        • Ravenclaw says:

          It looks like a straight news report, not Hannity style nonsense. No particular editorial slant.

          • Silly but True says:

            I bit.

            The maddening part is that they were not shy about engaging FBI, USSS, DHS, DOD, and Navy agents with bribes, at least four USSS took the bribes, and it took until a assault on a postal inspector and USPS referring the matter back to the FBI — some of whose agents had already been solicited to begin with — before FBI finally decided to investigate them.

            This is the same damn silo’ing and ambivalence that let so many 9/11 signs go unnoticed. It’s maddening.

            Where’s a single FBI agent who got solicited by the pair who arrested them on the spot?

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      My very strong feeling is that corruption underlies most of the problems facing the US today. And we’re so used to low-level corruption–to people acting in their own self-interest at the expense of the institution they are supposed to be committed to–that we don’t even consider much of it to be corruption. It’s just people being smart and getting ahead, or having a little fun.

      • troglodyte says:

        Reminds me of the corruption detailed in the podcast ‘Fat Leonard’ . The scandal was hidden and the investigation was diverted for a long time before it became public.

  8. Bobby Gladd says:

    Q: Anyone think Putin will next go to chemical weapons in UKR? (In lieu of, or prior to tactical nukes?)

    https://KHIT.org/ “Butchery From Beslan to Bucha.“

    1999: He was gonna “clean out” Chechnya in two weeks, recall? Is a #GroznyKraine drawing nigh?

    • john paul jones says:

      Interview with a Russian, Moscow-based sociologist on CBC As It Happens on Tuesday evening. His take on it was that Putin doesn’t see himself as attacking Ukraine, because Ukraine has no right to exist, therefore, does not exist for him; he pointed to Russian media to support this point. Putin (he said) sees himself as at war with the West, hence, “sooner rather than later,” Putin will widen the war either by attacking Western targets/airplanes/shipments or by using a tactical nuke. Very depressing conversation. The host ended up, literally, at a loss for words: “You really think so?” he said. Sociologist: Yes, I do.

  9. pdaly says:

    Tangential news that this topic brought to my attention:

    I read the twitter comment Eureka quoted in a prior thread. Here’s a partial quote Eureka linked to:

    “It sure as hell seems like two guys with extremely Persian names were using Q stuff to suborn federal agents, but also that they started doing their ruse a month or so after the Qasem Souleimani assassination”

    wrt Soulemimani:
    I did a search just now for when that assassination occurred (2020) but also came across this news article about a revenge killing attempt in March 2022 by a woman on a man in a Las Vegas hotel.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nika-nikoubin-stabbed-date-revenge-us-killing-qassem-soleimani-nevada-police/

    • Eureka says:

      That’s interesting, I’ll have to take a look.

      I want to pull that thread with tweets re: their associates over to here:
      https://www.emptywheel.net/2022/04/06/on-ednys-ongoing-investigation-into-tom-barrack-and-his-not-yet-indicted-co-conspirators/#comment-930262

      Their Pakistani-named business associate “Madeeha Jauhar” had the (how to say this) relatively biggest web presence in a look last night, part of why I was drawing attention to it [incl. that some thought Ali of Pakistani (or Persian, like Taherzadeh) background — again, last night’s info]. Today of course the stuff about the Pakistan links came out in court but also the Iran visas:

      Federal prosecutor Joshua Rothstein said Ali has told witnesses that he has connections to the Pakistani intelligence service ISI. Rothstein did not say whether the United States has evidence confirming that claim. Rothstein also said U.S. authorities have recovered a passport from Ali containing three visas to visit Pakistan and two to visit Iran.

      Quote via Reuters linked below.

      • Eureka says:

        Adding here the variations in reporting on the foreign travel/affiliations disclosed at the Thursday hearing (^ Reuters above):

        CNN:
        https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/07/politics/federal-officer-impersonation-case-weapons-seized/index.html

        According to Rothstein, Ali traveled to Doha, the capital of Qatar, several times in 2019 and had two Iranian visas, one showing an entry into Iran, and three Pakistani visas. Both men are US citizens, Rothstein said.

        AP (via WaPo):
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/us-man-impersonated-agent-claimed-ties-to-pakistani-intel/2022/04/07/6f49f666-b6a9-11ec-8358-20aa16355fb4_story.html

        Investigators believe Ali had taken multiple trips to the Middle East and had three visas showing he had been to Pakistan and two Iranian visas, Rothstein said. U.S. travel records also showed he had traveled to Istanbul, Turkey and Doha in Qatar, he said.

      • Eureka says:

        That tweeter I cited at linked thread ^, who pdaly also quotes, made a good catch on the Q-bait — no one else is talking about TAHERZADEH’s claim to have worked in “crimes against children”. Paragraph 38:

        38. TAHERZADEH introduced himself to Witness 3 as an HSI agent. TAHERZADEH told Witness 3 that he is currently in a gang unit with DHS, and that TAHERZADEH used to work in crimes against children. Witness 3 stated that TAHERZADEH’S credentials say ICE on them and indicate that he is a Special Agent.

        [emphasis added]

        Witness 3 lived in one of the “free” apartments.

        • Thomas says:

          Sniff sniff
          Q crackpot cover story seems to blend with the “white nationalist” pain endurance indoctrination ritual.

          And in other news his accomplice, the Limo driver with an LLC, has the money and time to travel all over the Middle East and claims he works for Pakistani intelligence.
          I think what we have here are two fantisists. But somebody is bankrolling their fantasy.
          I’m about 55% certain that it’s a rich domestic rightwing crackpot.
          But the tactics still seem Russian, and the foreign travels: Seems like these clowns may have attracted the attention of more than one foreign actor, if there is any credibility to Ali’s claims.

  10. rosalind says:

    JJ McNab on the twitters did a background check on the two. Her findings:

    Arian Taherzadeh: “data available is really shallow”

    Haider Ali (haidersherali): from his now deleted Linkedin Page –
    current position: COO at AET Holdings
    former: CEO at US Limo Worldwide Inc
    former: COO at AET Holdings Corp.
    education: MBA at George Washington University
    education: B.A Business Admin & Management at George Washington School of Business

    https://twitter.com/jjmacnab/status/1512099658922819594

  11. Thomas says:

    It is my opinion that whoever the organizer is, they recruited the Persian and the Arab PRECISELY so that they could float disinformation and confuse the public about who these guys work for.

    Dr Wheeler mentioned “Midwest Corporations” and expensive operations. Follow the money.
    Also, pay attention to which rightwing source tries to push which narratives as the story unfolds.
    If Russian sources amplify a particular narrative of the story, that can be informative as well. Russian propaganda and rightwing propaganda are in sync these days.

    • BobCon says:

      It’s obviously way too early to decide anything, but I’m inclined to agree that the nationality of the arrestees is probably a smokescreen when the case is this weird.

      One of the interesting tidbits from decoded WW2 Japanese communications is the fact that their intelligence service specifically discouraged recruiting Japanese Americans because they would be too likely to lead investigators to suspect the Japanese government, and the Japanese government encouraged recruitment of non-Asians instead as intelligence sources.

      I’m sure tactics remain the same 80 years later. If you’re talking about a supposedly above board bridge-building mission like Maria Butina was carrying out, then you want a person who is openly from the sponsoring nation, but not when you’re trying to operate under the radar.

      • Eureka says:

        Black Cube (-ishness) has come to mind for a few reasons, particularly if a nation-state is sponsoring their activities (but see way downthread, apparently they skipped out on at least 92k+ in rent for a time). I’d said earlier that these guys remind me of a version of Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman. A bumbling false flag (“Oh, look”) might work that way. Their whole cop personae would render them useful idiots for lots of folks.

        Alternatively, we have to recall how easy it was for foreign operatives to get over on us during the Trump admin (everyone from RU … to Chinese nationals/affiliates at Mar a Lago). This perception likely became reality for anyone — everyone — watching. No Clancy-level effects needed, just stride right in the front door, whichever doors were open.

        And they could simply be domestic hustlers, building access to sell to the highest bidder(s) (who could have changed over time, and who could also be domestic, sadly).

        • Eureka says:

          Another comp I entertain is Parnas and (depending on more info) Fruman or Correia (leaning latter for now).

          • Thomas says:

            Parnas and Fruman.
            Eighteen months ago was the timeframe in which Parnas and Fruman were arrested, and Trump’s impeachment inquiry was happening.
            We don’t yet have precise details on what the two imposters were doing at that time, but it seems they began their impersonation and recruiting activities at that time.
            Context is important and it could point to different motives depending on whether these two are being handled by a domestic or foreign financier/organizer.
            I’m leaning toward a domestic organizer at this point, with the possibility that the two also sought foreign clients.

  12. Joey Bagadonuts says:

    One would suppose the purpose of providing the (presumably bugged) apartment to Secret Service agent(s) is to listen to any personal gossip/dirt the agents are aware of re the president and his family, and of course presidential travel plans and security arrangements

  13. Spencer Dawkins says:

    “– the suborning or bribery of Secret Service personnel is really, REALLY problematic;”

    I’m remembering that for the longest time, the US didn’t even have a Secret Service. Given the reporting we’ve been seeing for the past two or three presidencies, and now this, I wonder if those days will return …

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I’m remembering that the Secret Service has been around since 1865, so that’s probably not a fruitful line of inquiry.

      Lumping it in with DHS was problematic, though, given the virtual complete absence of congressional oversight over it.

    • P J Evans says:

      They started out as part of the Treasury department, looking for counterfeiters and the like.

  14. viget says:

    To me, this reeks of an ongoing counterintel investigation that has now run its usefulness, and it’s time for prosecutions. If so, it would suggest that FBI has been up on this operation for quite some time. Perhaps this is why Pence was cautious around the USSS.

    Given the dates, I think that’s very likely the case. Intrigued by the dark money MO connection…I know there is something fishy going on in St. Louis that has yet to be revealed.

    And bringing in the USPIS may have been a move of trust or lack thereof. Or it may have been a convenient move to bring about a chain of events to give probable cause to investigate these jokers and arrest them without tipping them off that they were already under a CI investigation.

    Be interesting to see where this goes. Definitely need to follow the money…

    • Rayne says:

      And bringing in the USPIS may have been a move of trust or lack thereof.

      This, as well as the arrest of Bannon. I wonder if law enforcement has been so compromised with moles that we have to use USPIS.

      • Silly but True says:

        USDA:

        “Darcy Malone is a USDA Special Chicken Inspector, licensed to carry. Season 1 follows the exploits of her team as they investigate an innocuous foreign-oligarch-backed catering company, which grows into needing to stop WW3 once it’s uncovered the catering business is a front for a Russian-backed mercenary army with its eyes set on undermining Western Democracy.”

      • Norskieflamethrower says:

        Careful Rayne, I got bludgeoned for suggesting that law enforcement in this country was politically compromised including the feds.

        • Rayne says:

          LOL Every single law enforcement officer wearing “Back the Blue” and “All Lives Matter” paraphernalia is politically compromised. The difference is that I have the keys to the office booze locker.

            • Rayne says:

              I need to lay in some more bourbon, stat. bmaz has been knocking back a lot of ‘spring tonic’ for his allerjesus.

                  • bmaz says:

                    Oh, no, incident on bizarrely uneven pavement on a trip to Mexico. Just a stupid freaky thing. Will say this though, the pain was insane for awhile. Don’t ever hurt your achilles.

            • viget says:

              Marcy agreed with my fireworks comment, so yeah, I think it’s coming.

              “Will be wild!”

  15. John Paul Jones says:

    Seems like there might be three possibilities. (1) It’s a scam of some sort; but if so, a lot of money has been laid out for no obvious return. (2) Some kind of covert op by intelligence assets; but if so, seems stunningly incompetent in that a lot of loose ends seem to have been left in plain sight. (3) The two of them are fantasists, with enough money (in the short term) to indulge the fantasy. Of course, the money could come from some sort of ancillary scam. And one of them has an MBA, apparently, and those aren’t cheap.

    My money is on a combo of (3) and (1), but more likely (3). And I could be completely wrong, of course, and there might be some (2)-style threads yet to unravel. I mean who would’ve guessed, initially, about the threads connecting Lev Parnas et al to Rudy?

    • Rayne says:

      Fantasists? Really? It’s hardly on par with cosplay or fantasy football league participation to

      – rent a K Street office;
      – rent multiple DC apartments an easy distance from the Capitol Building and both DNC and RNC offices;
      – recruit employees and subject them to testing;
      – create faux federal log-in screens;
      – obtain real federal employee gear or gear which looks like authentic gear;
      – purchase tens of thousands of dollars of material for bribes.

      What’s the fandom if this is fantasists at work?

      • Drew says:

        It seems unlikely that they are pure “fantasist” as in role playing, fandom types. But it could be guys living in a kind of political fantasy, conspiring to do stuff that will influence/take over the government, without really having connections to bigger players (internationally or with domestic right wing groups, etc). However, they have to have some substantial source of money. If they’ve been doing this for 2 years, at least a couple of hundred thousand dollars (or more) have already been spent. These businesses really have to be investigated, since they are likely to be the conduits for the money, one way or another.

        • john paul jones says:

          That’s kind of along the lines I was thinking of, rather than RPGs or Cosplayers of some sort. The latter are overt fantasists; these guys strike me as fantasists as in deluded. Dreamers with cash. Though I do wonder if there was some sort of ancillary scam to keep the dream alive, so to speak.

          • Drew says:

            Movie scenario: (a la Ishtar or something) Two goofball guys, making money on stuff like crypto & mostly working as conduits for money-launderers-but they’re useful for it because they’re too stupid and oblivious to realize that’s what’s going on–these guys are always fantasizing about stuff in the movies & on TV, esp. being cops, undercover, etc. They hang out at bars & conventions, etc. and somehow find themselves talking to this guy. The guy is actually DHS, but a totally rogue asshole, on the edge & deep in it with very dark right wing stuff. But our guys buy his line of BS about undercover cops & “investigations” etc. He recruits them for his purposes and tells them they’re working for DHS, but it’s hush-hush and they can’t call HQ, etc. Hilarity ensues until the postal inspector shows up.

            As I said, this is just an absurd movie idea, as bad as Ishtar, at least, but some of the facts fit this kind of stupidity and wistful wishing to be NCIS-Starsky and Hutch-whatever. I don’t think this is it, but for now, I’m not at all sure what direction any of this will unfold.

            • harpie says:

              Now, who is tasking the disgruntled DHS agent?

              Some connected person [like Steve BANNON] with access to large amounts of dark money from people who want certain things? Maybe people like the Mercers and Koch’s; orgs. like the Council for National Policy and the Federalist Society.

            • john paul jones says:

              Not bad for Acts I and II, but there’s no Act III here. Again, I was thinking along the same lines, except that I imagined these actual two guys as being too much in love with movies and Clancy novels. And the fact that actual LEOs in the building bought into it, on some level, tells me that lots of people, no matter their day job, are in love with thriller movies and Clancy novels.

            • Thomas says:

              HAHAHA
              You are SO right. These guys live inside their own farce movie.
              The only question, IMHO, is
              “Who is producing and directing this film?”
              LARP with real guns, real surveillance equipment, and real candid camera dupes.
              It’s a movie about reality tv crackpots!
              😆

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          That level of fantasy and lack of consideration for consequences would be hard to find in a junior high school or in the basement of a DKE fraternity house.

          • AndTheSlithyToves says:

            During my Junior year in college–way back in the day–the notorious Deke house brothers, in a drunken stupor, set fire to the coffin that had sat on their front porch for years, nearly burning down the house. Talk about a self-coup!

            • blueedredcounty says:

              ROTF – so sorry, I had a flashback to the original “Revenge of the Nerds” and how you couldn’t hear the song in the background until the flames were roaring and you heard the chorus, “BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE!!!”

              • AndTheSlithyToves says:

                No worries, BRC! One of my favorite versions…
                https://youtu.be/iYuldgIOelY
                Frankly, I always thought the Dekes were pretty déclassé. About a decade earlier, the Betas (ΒΘΠ) had been bounced off campus for throwing a baby grand out of the second story of their house. lolol

      • Dr Noisewater says:

        Rayne, one of these goofs made an Instagram account for his USSP grift, I’ll try to find it again and I looked at who he was following. You can find this account through his mother’s name on instagram btw, anyways, he was following like 10 other instagram accounts that are LEO badge trading accounts 0_o

        LEO Badge trading accounts, why does this exist lol

      • Thomas says:

        Maybe the fantasist is the (as yet unknown) organizer.
        Some rich crackpot blowing lots of money?
        Here are some examples of those types Patrick Byrnes, Mike Lindell, Charles Koch, etc
        Not saying those people had anything to do with this, but such crackpots exist.

    • Judy says:

      Gift link to WaPo article on this
      https://wapo.st/3xjfIgW
      As I read it, particularly the part about apparently not paying for the apartments it made me think of the fake German heiress who was recently in the news.

  16. earlofhuntingdon says:

    In the sad absence of the late Eric Boehlert, Dan Froomkin (and others) continues to carry the torch of media criticism. He nicely skewers this position by J. Israel Balderas:

    There are those, like Jay Rosen, who advocate that journalists be overtly pro-democracy. Then there are those, like Balderas, who dismiss that position as a “subjective value judgment” that the press should work hard to avoid, because “ethical journalism already seeks truth and reports it.” LOL.

    Balderas is gaslighting. In the era of Faux Noise, he’s being willfully obtuse. He is a fish who thinks it would be damnably subjective to advocate for clean water, when everyone knows that nature cleans water naturally. He’s a school crossing guard who thinks it would be self-serving to advocate for strict enforcement of traffic rules, when everyone knows that ethical drivers already pay close attention to children and school buses.

    The press has a special place in democracy because public knowledge of and debate about government, business, and society is essential to maintaining that democracy. Without an effective press, we revert to the status of medieval serfs.

    https://twitter.com/froomkin/status/1512078427863453706

    • Silly but True says:

      Not germane to anything particular, but PBS had a series in 1989s called “Ethics in America,” which was nearly the greatest social studies exercise in modern US society. Each week focused on a single issue, and they brought in issue experts to address nearly every possible angle of that issue then had a facilitated but organic rountable discussion getting deep into it, and it was long enough that they could get into such a deep dive.

      I think it may have been military-focused one which covered the allegiances of embedded journalists.

      Neither here nor there but Peter Jennings was participant and I always respected his position of being reporter embedded in US force if he stumbled on enemy ambush would try to alert those he was embedded with. They covered the other side in great detail too with its own believing advocate that Jennings’ conduct and journalists like him picking sides in conflicts risked the lives of journalists throughout the world.

    • Theresa N says:

      It’s an absolute miracle that Obama was not assassinated under the “protection” of the USSS.

  17. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marsha Blackburn, Tom Cotton, and Josh Hawley will now be miffed when they aren’t invited to the newest Supreme Court Associate Justice’s confirmation party.

  18. DrFunguy says:

    1. Good news! Judge Jackson confirmed!!
    2. I browse LGMblog regularly but on anything related to J6 they seem delusional. Today they hyped an article from Salon claiming that “the Clarence and Ginni Thomas Scandal Vanished From the News”. I made a quick google and found numerous, recent (<4d), mainstream articles and editorials on this topic. Yet, the smart kidz over there can't see it.
    Yes, its terrible. But it doesn't mean nothing can be done. As folks here keep reminding me, a large part of the ongoing crisis in American politics is, well, political. It doesn't help to wage doom-saying propaganda.
    Thanks for keeping it fact-based in your joint.

  19. WilliamOckham says:

    I’ve been super busy at the day job recently, so my apologies if this ill-informed. Here’s my priors for this story:
    1. The Secret Service is a thoroughly corrupt agency.
    2. Since 9/11 and the formation of DHS, the quality of federal law enforcement has nose-dived. Too much money and political pressure.
    3. The USPIS is the one exception to this.

    Soooo…
    I think these two guys were running an elaborate scam on behalf of some frenemy country (Pakistan?). The letter carrier assault was unrelated and the postal inspectors, as the clue holders of fed law enforcement, picked up on the scam because they, you know, actually investigate stuff.

  20. Thomas says:

    So far, posters have opined
    1. It’s a foreign espionage op
    2. It’s a domestic terrorist op
    3. It’s a false flag counterintel op to sniff out bad apples
    4. It’s a crackpot operation by fantasists.
    Did I miss any?

        • Silly but True says:

          Go to their very first op: harassing and bugging Daniel Ellesberg’s Los Angeles psychiatrist, Lewis J. Fielding, in an effort to uncover evidence to discredit Ellsberg, who had leaked the Pentagon Papers.

          The Plumbers’ purpose was to stop the (White House) leaks to press and manage fallout of White House leaks to press, beginning with Pentagon Papers.

          Want to know the Plumbers’ goal? Look no further than Durham’s original special investigative appointment in 2018, first started being brought to light about January 2019: Durham was initially appointed to investigate Baker’s leaks to media as identified by OIG in the McCabe & Mid-Year reports.

          Durham _is_ the new Plumber.

          • BobCon says:

            Except that bugging the DNC is completely different from going after leakers to the press.

            They were trying to uncover something for Nixon, but what, exactly, is still unclear. They weren’t staffed for anywhere near 24/7 listening to the bugs and weren’t recording calls.

            Liddy and Colson had some kind of scheme cooked up, but how that translates into what happened is still a tangled mess.

            • earthworm says:

              Plumbers: there have been drifts and whiffs of rumor for decades that their objective was to learn how much was known to DNC about the actual perpetrators/masterminds of JFK’s assassination.

    • Rayne says:

      grim-lol Um, we really don’t need to hazard guesses when the situation will unfold pretty quickly.

      This is why DOJ and the judiciary absolutely must be firm with the insurrectionists and seditionists; what happened on January 6 made it clear the US was destabilized enough that something incredibly bad could be pulled off with relative ease and at relatively low cost.

      • BobCon says:

        Things that also strike me as odd are guys letting out connections to Pakistani intelligence so quickly, and especially the feds releasing this information so quickly.

        Pakistani intelligence is hardcore. Maybe the US had a ton of background before the arrest that couldn’t be denied, but I would think arrestees wouldn’t want to appear too eager to cooperate.

        But I’m even more surprised the US wasn’t playing this closer to vest — it seems like there could be a lot of reasons for keeping a lot of the specific info about evidence under wraps until more details were hammered down. This isn’t a bust of some rando pot dealers by some attention seeking local sherrif.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          BobCon, your questions make me feel that they have been watching these guys longer than they are saying. I think the suspicious part is the cockamamie story about the postal worker leading to the Postal investigators showing up.

          Especially in light of the posting by rosalind at 7:21 below:
          “hmm, appears the Police had one of them in their grasp early 2021, then let him slip right out. via Daily Mail (i know, i know, but they often have good reporting):

          “In early 2021, Metro Police did a search of Taherzadeh’s unit when a person from a surrounding apartment building made a call reporting a sighting of firearms in his 3-bedroom corner unit through an open window.”

          I find it hard to believe that knowing of the armaments in that guys apartment, that someone wasn’t keeping an eye on them for the last year.

          • Ravenclaw says:

            Well, if federal law enforcement tried to keep track of everybody who kept firearms in their home or office, they’d need a much larger staff…

          • Voxxy says:

            Not to mention that the apartment complex supposedly was filled with law enforcement/ss agents, gov officials etc…the fact a gun was seen and caused concern seems odd…if the building was filled with tenants as stated in articles, then a gun fits a lot of those possible tenant’s jobs.

      • notjonathon says:

        Kidnapping the First Lady? You know that producers used to reject those scripts for being too fanciful.

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        The FBI found evidence that they may have been creating surveillance devices and also found a binder with information on all the residents in the luxury apartment building, which is home to law enforcement officers, defense officials and congressional staffers.

        Home to law enforcement and defense officials? Who didn’t think twice about being surveilled and a neighbor saying they could access their cellphones?

        Who the fuck is minding the store? Yikes!

        • Rayne says:

          I couldn’t pull up many details on the residents/occupants/renters of the K Street address associated with Taherzadeh and Ali, but that address is used by some names which should give us pause. The one page I could pull up listed Chuck Hagel, for one. I don’t think these two limited their collection to the apartment building alone.

      • Thomas says:

        Meanwhile, General Michael Flynn, the dangerous traitor and spy, is free as a bird, and organizing paramilitaries. That is, when he is not openly inciting violence, insurrection and civil war to Qanon crackpots.

    • Thebuzzardman says:

      I’ll take a crack at something not specifically previously stated, though it contains elements of #1, at the least, and weaves in a few things brought up by others.

      It’s a Russian based intelligence operation, like Lev Parnas etc
      They made contact with some local wannabe types and bankrolled them.
      The Russians know it’s easy enough to compromise people in the current corrupt environment of this country
      The super stretch goal of the operation was that maybe one of the SS agents is compromised enough to provide something useful
      The real goal is that by using a couple of fools who would get caught, damage is caused to the reputation of US Secret Service, the Executive Branch and the USA in general
      The above is worth paying real $ for.
      The “mission” is compromised on purpose either by the Russians themselves as a distraction to what is going on
      The “mission” had been under surveillance for a while by US counterintel the decision was made to f*ck with Vlad by busting it – a little message that we are on to the various plays in the country he is making.

      Just a VERY loose theory, not one that I’m wedded to in any way, because many of the others are very solid

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks, I see it. Appreciate the heads up or I would have avoided it for security reasons. :-)

      • Rayne says:

        Fascinating — Ali has really little there, no real meat in his background jumps out at me. I don’t know if he’s better at hiding or if he’s a low-level grunt. Thanks for this.

  21. JMNY says:

    I, for one, will now refer to the J6 Committee as the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack AND GANGS!

  22. vicks says:

    Link to Taherzadeh’s profile from the Wayback machine.
    https://web.archive.org/web/20181003135135/http:/ari-taherzadeh.com/
    Jargon word salads are a big trigger for me so I passed on giving it a good look (curious to know if it’s deliberate and if other’s rejected looking at it closely?)
    I did take notice of his wonder years- 2003/06 when he managed to get a quick BA, start one company and hold impressive sounding positions at two others.
    He also inserted “Investigator at United States Special Police (USSP) May 2018 | Washington, DC” at the end of his work history

    • BobCon says:

      He claimed to have a JD from Georgetown and worked for three years for the (Bill) Gates Millennium Scholars program.

      I would be very, very careful about how much of that checks out, though.

      • Alan Charbonneau says:

        It sounds to me like the bio for Martina Butina. Maybe they knew each other 😁

      • My Uncle Fred says:

        Yes, but its worse than that.

        His time at Georgetown materially overlaps his time as CTI Group and Associates and then with the Gates Foundation. Could he successfully pursue a G-town JD while a managing partner at CTI Group? That supposition smells.

        Oh wait, CTI Group isn’t not quite the same as CTI Group & Associates (AT’s putitive employer). BTW, he doesn’t have anything close to the qualifications to be a Managing Partner with CTI Group.

        And this is part of a larger pattern by A.T., including confusing company names and his exaggerated roles therein.

        AEG Mortgage sounds a bit like AEG Financial, no? But its not related. According to dandb.com AEG Mortgage is a Shawnee Mission KS firm (close to Park University in MO), founded in 2010 with annual income of $110,000.00 and two employees. AT claims to have been their CTO from 2005 to 2006. Perhaps that was before they incorporated, but for what did this tiny operation require a Chief Technology Officer? A copy of Word and Excel are probably more than they needed.

        His listing re Gates Millennium Scholars displays what appears to be a tell. He notes that he was “IT Business Analyst / Technology & Solutions Architect” for them.

        These titles are very different roles and the Technology & Solutions Architect roles is materially more challenging and better paid (although the title is abused frequently). If he were really the Solutions Architect, it is likely he would have noted that first. But by listing Business Analyst first, he has a starting point to BS his way if anyone checks and finds that he doesn’t have the Solutions Architect title. But a fundamental question to ask is why he would step down from a Managing Partner position to Business Analyst? And while he notes an interest in non-profits, nothing in his presentation demonstrates that interest, or justifies stepping down to this role to help a non-profit.

        Then he moves on to his startup role at AET Holdings Corp/AET Hosting Solutions. AET of course are his initials.

        There is an AET Holdings that is active, looks like an IT contract body shop, and notes no connection to our AET. Further it was founded a year before he claims to have founded AET Holdings. But who knows?

        Similarly there is an AET Hosting Solutions that seems to be connected to our AET (including providing hosting for USSP, whose website [www.ussp.us] appears to have been scrubbed). The AET Hosting Solutions website is poorly designed to attract and encourage new customers, but does offer hosting services. It focuses on small customers and no doubt exists to resell the services of other providers.

        So yes, his vitae is a word salad that overstates his responsibilities and experience.

        My posting below takes a brief look at his MO firms. Note that AET seems to always use either MO or DC/VA for his various real and/or imagined businesses (with an exception in CA and one in MD).

        From his Vitae we see CTI Financial but two of the firms noted to him on corporationwiki.com are Cti Financial and Cti Group. Is it an accident that typed with lower case “ti” these look like “Citi Financial” and “Citi Group” to a casual observer? Maybe.

        Now if one looks at this link: https://www.bizapedia.com/people/arian-taherzadeh.html, we find a whole series of corporations. His taxes could be complicated.l He may be hiding things, or perhaps found it easy to form shell companies and said “why not?”

        If you’re not interested in the link, the list includes (he appears casual about his name sometimes including the middle – below this is noted by AET or AT followed by tite):
        AET Holdings Corp VA, Domestic Corp, AET (no title listed)
        AET Holdings Inc VA, Domestic Corp, AT (no title listed)
        AET Hosting Solutions Inc, VA Domestic Corp, AT (no title listed)
        AET Solutions, Inc, Maryland Corp, AT (Agent)
        Creative Technology Group, Inc, MO Gen Business – for – Profit, AT (Agent)
        Creative Technology Group, LLP, MO LLP, AT (Agent)
        CTI Consulting, Inc, MO Gen. Business – For-Profit, AT (Agent)
        CTI Group, Inc, VA Domestic Corp, AT, (Agent)
        JP Lehman & Associates, Inc, MO Gen. Business – for – Profit, AT (Agent)
        JP Lehman, LLC MO Limited-Liability Company, AET (Agent)
        Sirari Holdings Inc. VA Domestic Corp, AET (no title Listed)
        USSP Inc. VA Domestic Corp, AT (no title listed)
        USSP, LLC DC Limited Liability Company, AT (Governor

        IT/AddComm/Security. Could he be another republication grifter?

        In a different vein, the timing it close to the roll-up of the russian botnet. Is this just a coincidence?

        Inquiring minds want to know.

          • My Uncle Fred says:

            Nothing much to say. Info above from open sources. Opinions based on 30 years of interviewing, hiring and managing IT professionals.

        • P J Evans says:

          Company names that will pass a casual-to-moderate level of checking, along with a convincing amount of business and educational BS – and docs that look plausible to LEOs who aren’t expecting fraud – I can see them getting away with it for a while. They must have been fairly convincing to be around this long.

        • Thomas says:

          Wow!
          Nice sleuthing
          Given this info, I am revising my assessment. This guy is DEFINITELY a fantisist, and a very intelligent, frustrated one. Given the time frame of his evolutions, education, and prevarifications, I conclude that this is someone who met with a LOT of discrimination in the War on Terror Era. He overcompensates again and again trying to win just the minimum recognition and rewards he probably does deserve. The elaborate con that he orchestrated successfully for a couple of years confirms this assessment.
          BUT, there is a missing piece and I feel more sure of it now. He has a mentor. Probably an older white male, from Missouri, Republican. This mentor might be a Washington DC lobbyist or even a politician who has access to a lot of money. He has expertise at his disposal to be able to hide transfers of money. He either knows financial “reindeer games” himself, like shell company games, or he has associates who do that kind of thing for very rich people.
          This assessment fits my earlier assessment that the DHS impersonation operations indicates that this Persian guy has a handler/financier that has an interest in immigration policy.
          This handler likely has known the suspect for more than three years. Something in the suspects history mY lend clues about where he met the handler. Undoubtedly finacial transactions will lend more clues, but because of what I said before, this may be a dead end. Reindeer games.

      • Ravenclaw says:

        I sent degree confirmation requests to the schools. We’ll see if I get anything. Meanwhile, let’s not assume that everything he claims to have done is an outright lie! In between the self-aggrandizing gobbledygook he describes developing a web site and database for the Kansas City dogcatcher. I’ll buy that.

        • My Uncle Fred says:

          So, more different schools/degrees claimed elsewhere. My guess is that he at best has a degree from Park University.

          Yes he may have produced a dog-catcher’s website, but without further description, that’s a fairly trivial task.

            • Ravenclaw says:

              Georgetown won’t say; wants a release signed by the individual before they’ll confirm or deny a degree. But given the lie about Park, it seems highly unlikely that there is any law degree in play, much less one from a top-tier school.

    • greengiant says:

      United States Special Police, 31 employees, 1629 K St NW, Ste 300 a virtual office same address as Pentagon Law etc., USSP authorized to provide law enforcement, investigative services … in D.C.
      Their sparse facebook page “a law enforcement agency”

      • Ravenclaw says:

        Yes, at some point in 2018 (I think) he renamed one of the ‘companies’ he ‘owns’ as “United States Special Police,” which lets him claim to be an agent of said organization – which of course sounds a lot like a real law enforcement organization, facilitating his scam. I think I saw that in this role he is also a member of some national association of police chiefs. Some such associations are basically vanity groups. I remember the father of a psychiatric patient we had years ago who wore paramilitary-looking gear, claimed to be with the ‘National Police’ or some such, and displayed his membership badge in such an association as ‘proof.’ (Long back story to that one, but basically he wanted to intimidate the hospital staff.)

    • greenbird says:

      downthread are links for today’s [Apr 10] Gov filings: Doc 11 and 12.
      both have buncho details on qualifying etc.

      T said somewhere that Ali was ‘paying’ for it all …
      no wonder Ali kept so invisible.

  23. MyUncleFred says:

    According to CorporationWiki, one of the four MO companies is Rayne Communications. Funny coinky-dink? Inside joke? Trolling? Covering the trail? Or probably nothing.

    IDK how accurate CorporationWiki is as this is my first encounter with same.

    So far, in looking up named officers for the four firms, there is only one possible clue. For Rayne Communications: Christopher Dilley is listed as GM. First google hit on that name plus “MO” went to Unmask. This turns up four listings although two are clearly duplicates, so three people by that name.

    The one I find interesting is Christopher Mark Dilley who is apparently now located in Valparaiso IN. What makes him interesting to me is that he’s 40 and lived at the Air Force Academy. If he was a cadet, he would have started around the turn of the century. And knowing how the Academy has been so corrupted by christo-fascist influences, at least that far back, would make such an individual an interesting fellow traveler for Arian Taherzahde.

    Of course we don’t know: If the Rayne Communications VP is the same A.T. as was arrested? If Christopher Mark Dilley is the same as the Rayne Comm GM Christopher Dilley? If Rayne Comm is a real thing, and if so, is it a legitimate business firm?

    So many Q’s, so little time.

    • Rayne says:

      No idea about the origin of the business name. Trolling? Perhaps, but doubtful. I run into a lot of Rayne, Louisiana businesses which might make more sense.

      I suspect a lot of the other names associated with what are likely shell corps are also shell people — empty voids meant to make the business look legit.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Yes, that’s a common technique among scam artists, and, I assume, intel ops. So is using a name almost like the legit one, with only one or two letters off.

        I have to say, the bogus-sounding USSP sounds like something Bill Barr invented as an umbrella for armed feds he used against protesters.

    • notjonathon says:

      Turn of the century–set off a tiny frisson.
      I know it’s just common sense to say in the third decade of this century, but for old folks like me, turn of the century means 1899-1901.

  24. rosalind says:

    hmm, appears the Police had one of them in their grasp early 2021, then let him slip right out. via Daily Mail (i know, i know, but they often have good reporting):

    “In early 2021, Metro Police did a search of Taherzadeh’s unit when a person from a surrounding apartment building made a call reporting a sighting of firearms in his 3-bedroom corner unit through an open window.

    Video footage viewed by DailyMail.com showed members of the Metro Police Department and United States Capitol Police searching Taherzadeh’s apartment on the 7th floor. They saw firearms in plain sight that are illegal to own in the District of Columbia, but were provided with credentials that seemed to convince them that Taherzadeh was an agent permitted to own such weapons.”

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10696133/How-fake-DHS-agents-spent-18-MONTHS-trying-infiltrate-Secret-Service-Jill-Bidens-detail.html

  25. Obansgirl says:

    I know nothing but could this be linked to peter thiel and Mercer’s new group mentioned yesterday nyt?

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Rebekah Mercer and Peter Thiel are two of the donors of the Rockbridge Network, which has aspirations to fund and build a future Republican administration.

      Robert Mercer is a part-owner in Centre Firearms with his son-in-law, George Wells. George’s friend, Peter Pukish, is listed as a general manager. They founded the Law Enforcement Education Organization. And they all were volunteer police officers in New Mexico.

      The only thing I learned about the surname Pukish is that it is mostly found in the US and Moldova. But the map I saw also indicated it in Russia.

      https://www.newsweek.com/badge-factory-robert-mercer-concealed-carry-volunteer-police-officer-864514

  26. pdaly says:

    Another random association:

    I read this from the Washington Post:
    “According to an FBI agent’s affidavit in the case, the men lavished gifts upon members of the Secret Service — including rent-free apartments that would cost $40,000 a year, iPhones, surveillance systems, a drone, a flat-screen TV and a generator — and it was not entirely clear what, if anything, they wanted in return.”

    iPhones, surveillance systems, a drone, and a flat-screen TV. All, including the flat-screen TV, are potential surveillance systems focusable on its owner.

    I am reminded wrt flat-screen TV of the recent need to acknowledge an updated ‘User Agreement’ that appeared on my LG flat screen TV. The agreement included something about agreeing to the ‘microphone on the remote’ and ‘this is not related to the microphone in the TV itself.’ What?!

    I have not activated the voice-activated function of the remote, and I did not know that there is an embedded mic in the TV. Maybe it’s for calculating room acoustics? Is the TV mic hot? I don’t know.

    Who knows about embedded TV cameras that, I read, are part of some TV manufacturers’ models.

    (Aside: They offered a generator? Was this a gift given in direct response to a Secret Service person’s ask?)

    • bmaz says:

      We do not use the factory remotes on either of our big screens. I do not think either panel have mics that could pick us up at a distance, but how do you know anymore? Now what else are they collecting? Don’t know that either, but most they will learn is that I watch too much news and that Mrs. bmaz likes sitcoms. It is scandalous household!

      • pdaly says:

        I read further the User Agreement on the LG TV.
        Apparently they share information with 3rd parties (in Korea) but make not promises about what THOSE 3rd parties do with the information….

        I have a separate bedroom Sony TV. Its associated TV remote has voice-activated capability, too (which I have also refused to activate).

        Nevertheless as I am falling asleep, I have been occasionally woken by the intermittent strigilations it makes in the dark.
        The scratching noises remind me of the Harry Potter horcruxes, and the sound is defeated only if I remove the batteries from the remote.

        • David B Pittard says:

          Maybe the silence noticed when you remove the batteries is coincident with the raccoon pausing to listen to the noise coming from below the attic?

            • pdaly says:

              Oh, no! I hope negotiations ended well for all involved.

              A few years ago my uncle and aunt entered into a building arms race with a raccoon that repeatedly pulled off wooden planks and metal plates covering the entrance to a crawlspace over their family room. It wasn’t until someone found and rescued the raccoon babies in the crawlspace that peace ensued.

    • Thomas says:

      Ive said it before, on other sites, and I will repeat it here.
      1. Trump and his organization are known to own over 500 shell companies
      2. Trump is known to have engaged in real estate deals with Russian oligarchs and gangsters that are suspected to be money laundering operations.
      3. The Manhattan DA office has been to the US Supreme Court TWICE attempting to acquire Trump’s financial records and tax returns.
      4. It is very likely that information about the bank accounts of Trump’s shell companies is included in the information gained by the Manhattan DA, including any phony documentation hiding money laundering
      transactions
      5. IF the prosecutors in Manhattan uncovered a massive, international money laundering racket involving the Russian mafia, Russian intelligence, the Republican Party and Donald Trump, they would not likely just stick to building a racketeering case solely on bank fraud, tax fraud, etc
      6. Most likely, they would inform the Feds. Treasury, DOJ, and it would likely become an interest of other agencies too.
      7. Because of the national security implications and the HUGE spotlight on this investigation, I would expect EXACTLY what has happened.
      8. Most likely, the Feds took this case, and issued national security letters to Bragg and anyone else.
      9. Obviously, Bragg couldn’t even tell his prosecutors what was going on. Hence the angry resignations and recriminations. Bragg made moves that indicate he is closing down the case. In this situation, that’s exactly what he would be expected to do.
      10. If Bragg IS NOW announcing that the case is ongoing, then that can ONLY be because the Feds want him to say that.

      Someone else can now go ahead and poke holes in my assessment. Please.

  27. Tracy Lynn says:

    I’m fascinated by this story—how ballsy of Taherzedah and Ali to lie to government officials as if the USPI wouldn’t actually investigate their claims. It seems as though they expected they (Taherzedah and Ali) thought someone/thing had their backs. So strange.

    • Rayne says:

      I suspect Taherzadeh was able to get away with a lot by claiming he was law enforcement. Too few — really, almost nobody — checked his credentials.

        • Rayne says:

          They apparently didn’t pay for the apartments, but all the other assets/accoutrement must have been paid for with something. ???

          ADDER: The affidavit says some of the apartments/space was being rented out by Taherzadeh. May have been an income stream but I don’t this accounts for all the money spent.

            • Rayne says:

              ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Highly doubtful but this story is so off the wall it’s hard to say. I mean, if this happened immediately following the January 6 insurrection and some folks showed up claiming they needed space to surveil targets who may be occupying the apartment complex, what would an apartment complex owner/manager do?

    • P J Evans says:

      A lot of people don’t know about the Postal Inspectors. Until it’s way too late. Also, these guys may have been able to BS their way through a lot of stuff, with good fake badges and IDs.

      • J R in WV says:

        This is not off topic, really.

        We live in a very rural neighborhood, still, and it was way more rural when we moved out here. Our mail box sits on a post beside a one lane country road that dead ends a mile of so past our then farmhouse, now removed to a construction waste landfill. Mail box still a lonely sentinel by the road.

        Anyway, in the long ago someone stole a box of new checks from that lonely mailbox, had made a fake ID with their photo and Wife’s name, and cashed bad checks all over the larger metro area between Charleston and Huntington. Wife went to the county State Police office, where they did not want to hear about this crime “You only suffered a loss of what, $9 for the box of checks? That’s barely a crime at all!” Wife was furious, forced them to take a crime report, because the defrauded businesses wanted us to make them good on the bad checks, and always asked for a copy of the police report.

        Next, Wife went to the main post office downtown, because stealing mail is a federal offense, where she actually met a Postal Inspector, who took this incident much more seriously that the State Police did. Turns out the thief, Mona, was not a first time criminal, and was out on parole/probation for a very similar crime in her past. Postal Inspector went after Mona like a Honey Badger. Went back to jail immediately on the prior crime, children entered the foster care program.

        Obviously this had no national security issues connected, but shows that the Postal police will take related crimes very seriously and dig into them when a regular police agency does not. And so we come to these two clowns in DC, running into the Postal Inspectors, to their very large dismay.

    • Valley girl says:

      The Reuters report is very weird- details given about family/ son don’t match what I’ve seen.

      How did Reuters find the “mother”?

      ~~In an interview with Reuters at a house in northern Virginia, Ali’s mother, Zahida, said she was confused when she heard news reports of her son allegedly lying about being a police officer. She said she knew he wasn’t a cop.

      “I don’t know what he’s doing. He doesn’t tell me, he keeps to himself,” Zahida said. “He’s a good person. A very honest person,” she said. “Someone must have trapped him. He always tries to help people.”

      “He has four children. The youngest is only one month old,” she said, beginning to cry.~~

      • Valley girl says:

        His mother’s name is Nuzhat Ara or Nuzhat A Ali, according to what I’ve seen, and she lives in Maryland.

        Reuters? Maybe they interviewed the wrong person?

      • Rayne says:

        Super sketchy, eh? Sexuality doesn’t match, has been no previous mention of spouse or children.

        • Valley girl says:

          I think Reuters got the wrong “mom”, which you may have already figured out. Look back at what I sent you re: relations.

          • Eureka says:

            More interesting (assuming that’s the case) is why did that mom claim him, then?

            ETA: Rayne, just noticed you made an update — you’ve got “PM” on your timestamp (give yourself that 12h of credit, lol)

            • Rayne says:

              That’s my cue, time to go to bed as it’s approaching 1:00 am here and I’m starting to sprinkle typos/errors. Thanks, Eureka!

              • Eureka says:

                Welp, I’m going to enjoy some late-dinner chicken tikka masala, beverage of choice, and maybe we’ll see how bad the typos can get. Cheers!

            • Valley girl says:

              Eureka, read it again. Reuters claimed that it was THE mom they were interviewing. The person Reuters interviewed was totally confused. She didn’t “claim” him at all.

              • Eureka says:

                I did read it, was going by this part:

                “said she was confused when she heard news reports of her son”

                Reuters didn’t indicate anywhere that this woman they interviewed had disputed that it was her son, or had asserted a mistaken identity — they should have added something to that effect if she had. So add it to the pile of issues, then.

                Other question I have is did her son (whoever that is) contact her or anything about this? If her son is a different person, have they not spoken? Would she not try to call him or his infant child’s mother upon this confusing news? But then there’s also:

                “I don’t know what he’s doing. He doesn’t tell me, he keeps to himself,” Zahida said.

                I am not disputing your account, VG. I noted that if you are correct that there’s this mom question / Reuters has more to answer for (IMO their writing indicated that she had claimed him). Also, I don’t have access to the info you and Rayne are discussing.


                ETA now that I see your @12:57 AM: Yes, I read that. I am not disagreeing with your account.

        • My Uncle Fred says:

          One of the linked articles/twitters mentions a women and children being allowed to re-enter one of the apartments. I think it noted that this was before agents left the premises.

          • Eureka says:

            Daily Mail:

            As of 10:30 p.m. Wednesday evening, other occupants of the unit where Ali lives were allowed back in – including at least one woman and a few young children.


            I saw per JJ MacNab (see rosalind above for that link, too) that he had an old gay dating profile. Assuming that the profile itself wasn’t a ruse/lure, he’d be far from the first to carry on dual lives (if these “other occupants” of his apartment are family to him/in that way).

          • Ravenclaw says:

            Possibly Madeeha Jahaur (allegedly Taherzadeh’s wife) or else “Sasha,” the other person who lived in one of the apartments being searched (but who has not been charged as far as I know).

  28. pdaly says:

    Random thoughts.

    I just noticed “Haider Ali,” one of the two men arrested, is now reportedly 36 years-old in some links online. Is today (4/7/22) his birthday?
    He was reported as 35 years-old earlier today in Washington Post.

    Try the google search of “age secret service Ali” to see sites claiming Ali is 36 years-old.

    As the Washington Post states, both men arrested are US citizens, so I assume their names are genuine and not aliases. Nevertheless, when I first googled “Haider Ali” I came found the name associated with a Pakastani cricketer player.

    This reminded me of the TV series “Homeland” (Season 3, episode 4 “Game On” and subsequent) in which an active embezzlement investigation uncovered the name of an Iranian SOCCER player who was deceased. The active use of a deceased person’s name led the CIA team (Saul Berenson et al) to realize it was the fake identity of the Iranian intelligence character “Javadi” who was embezzling money for his own enrichment.

  29. pseudo says:

    From the affadavit (TPM link above by sleutherone)
    “Both individuals also self-identified as investigators with the U.S. Special Police Investigation Unit (USSP). ALI identified the USSP as part of DHS.”

    US Special Police LLC registered in MO
    https://opencorporates. com/companies/us_mo/LC0719532
    Another US Special Police LLC registered in NC
    https://opencorporates. com/companies/us_nc/1471104
    US Special Police listing in DC has an address and phone number
    https://www.chamberofcommerce. com/united-states/district-of-columbia/washington/notary-public/1337670879-unitedstatesspecialpolice

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use a more differentiated username when you comment next as we have several community members named “pseudo.” It’s possible you are one of the earlier “pseudo” commenters, but I can’t be certain because of differences in your login identity. Thanks. /~Rayne]

  30. Eureka says:

    Another big story Weds. evening, besides these guys:

    U.S. Says It Secretly Removed Malware Worldwide, Pre-empting Russian Cyberattacks – The New York Times
    The operation is the latest effort by the Biden administration to thwart actions by Russia by making them public before Moscow can strike.
    By Kate Conger and David E. Sanger
    April 6, 2022

    WASHINGTON — The United States said on Wednesday that it had secretly removed malware from computer networks around the world in recent weeks, a step to pre-empt Russian cyberattacks and send a message to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

    The move, made public by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, comes as U.S. officials warn that Russia could try to strike American critical infrastructure — including financial firms, pipelines and the electric grid — in response to the crushing sanctions that the United States has imposed on Moscow over the war in Ukraine.

    […]

    […] Armed with secret court orders in the United States and the help of governments around the world, the Justice Department and the F.B.I. disconnected the networks from the G.R.U.’s own controllers.

  31. My Uncle Fred says:

    After focusing on too narrow a slice of research, I’ve reviewed all the linked info/reporting in this thread.

    A couple of questions stand out from this inquiry:

    1) Supposedly part of the charges were destroying evidence after becoming aware of the investigation. How did they become aware of the investigation?

    2) It was reported that 2 of the SSMEN moved out of The Crossing two months before the raid. Is this a coincidence? If not, what’s behind this? If it is a coincidence, why move out of free luxury digs?

    3) Since when is the DC real estate market soft enough to allow owners/management to provide free luxury apartments to government officials, even if they were hoodwinked by those same government officials? Did Tischman Speyer get big by being dumb?

    4) How come the lawsuit didn’t lead to either rent payments or evictions?

    5) Are there exceptions to the rules, in DC, that require court orders before landlords share confidential information about tenets? Again TS didn’t get big by being dumb, did they?

    6) I assume that among the requirements to be a Secret Service Agent are some minimal education certifications sufficient to establish that they aren’t completely stupid jamokes. So, why would these agents think that there was anything legit about some “fellow” agents controlling surplus government luxury apartments, into which the real agents could just move use for free? It’s not like SSMen were doing anything significant for the “task force” that controlled the apartments, or were they? Can these guys be so dumb, or is something significant being hidden from us re. what the compromised agents were doing/planning?

    Any clues for the above?

    • sleutherone says:

      Agents are required to have facility with the English language, including in writing. The brochure does not indicate it but by way of personal knowledge they prefer college degrees. They also very much prefer previous law enforcement experience.

      There are background checks done routinely since Top Secret clearance must be maintained. Unfortunately, this may be where they failed. The check includes a detailed finances component. If I were to change anything it would be to have more frequent finance checks.

      Secret Service Brochure:
      https://www.secretservice. gov/sites/default/files/reports/2021-10/TAD%20Special%20Agent%20Brochure_%20Digital_10.1.21.pdf

      While the Secret Service has garnered the attention, I would look at whoever else lived there. The military won’t say their people or contractors are under investigation, though it appears both may have lived there.

      • My Uncle Fred says:

        Thanks for that, about what I assumed. But it doesn’t answer the key question. Could they have been dumb enough to think everything was legit?

        • Thomas says:

          In previous posts on this thread, and based upon some excellent sleuthing by other posters, I have concluded that Taherzahad and Ali have a handler, and that Taherzahad’s (sic?) fake professional associations are Oathkeeper adjacent.

          Taherzahad’s handler is likely an older white male, wealthy, connected, probably a Republican. Taherzahad has a history of seeking affirmation and credibility. This older white male may have lent him the credibility he needed when he recruited agents.
          Ali’s travel and stated associations with foreign intelligence indicate that they may have decided to branch out and seek other clients. But now I am 65% certain that the two started off with a rightwing domestic crackpot as their mentor. This crackpot is well connected though. Could be a Washington lobbyist, a politician, or a wealthy activist.

        • sleutherone says:

          Not in my dealings with them. They are an intelligent and suspicious lot. They have become more political over the years. I am inclined to think they found people of like political minds to hang with.

    • Troutwaxer says:

      The other possibility is that the Secret Service agents did report the contacts and were told to play along… but we won’t know that for years, if ever.

  32. harpie says:

    Thanks for the TIMELINE, Rayne! This post and the whole comment section is amazing!
    THANKS to you ALL!

    Via Laura Rozen:

    https://twitter.com/JustenCharters/status/1512256371432964099
    10:29 PM · Apr 7, 2022

    He [Arain Taherzadeh] also had a PI license. That’s right, this guy had a license to do private detective work. // Credit to @osinthunter for the find. [screenshots]

    I would REALLY like to know HOWearly in 2021” Metro Police did a search of Taherzadeh’s unit.

  33. Jenny says:

    Thanks Rayne for the update.
    Very unnerving to discover two men impersonating fed officers for over 2 years and no one saw the red flags until the postal worker was assaulted. Plus four Secret Service agents involved. Corruption and greed.

  34. harpie says:

    Homeland Security Watchdog Omitted Damaging Findings From Reports The findings were removed from inspector general investigations of domestic violence and sexual misconduct committed by officers in the department’s law enforcement agencies. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/07/us/politics/homeland-security-inspector-general.html 4/17/22

    The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general [Joseph V. Cuffari] and his top aides directed staff members to remove damaging findings from investigative reports on domestic violence and sexual misconduct by officers in the department’s law enforcement agencies, according to documents obtained by The New York Times [from POGO] and two government officials familiar with the inquiries. […]

    The draft report on sexual misconduct notes that fieldwork for the inquiry ended in October 2019, but the agency has not published the findings. […]

    DHS’s Office of Inspector General has been working on the report, which includes the survey responses, for more than four years. […]

    None of its results have been previously released, even though a draft was cleared by a group of senior watchdog officials in late 2020. […]

    Mr. Cuffari, a Trump appointee who has served as inspector general since July 2019, has previously blocked investigations, against his staff’s recommendations. He blocked inquiries into the Secret Service’s role in the violent dispersal of protests against police brutality outside the White House in 2020, and on the spread of Covid-19 at that agency. He also delayed an inquiry into whether senior agency officials demoted an employee who criticized the Trump administration. […]

    • harpie says:

      Every time I read the words “[name], a Trump appointee”,
      I’ll wonder if this person was one of the recommendations on
      Ginni [SCOTUS Spouse] THOMAS’s 1/24/19 PURGE and REPLACE list for TRUMP.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        Milwaukee County Sheriff, David Clarke, was at least one person who Ginni Thomas recommended to Trump for a position at DHS.

        Remember when Trump appointed Ginni Thomas to the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board? I wonder if she mused how the tunnels could be used for J6.

  35. My Uncle Fred says:

    Why is it that the Daily mail seems to have so much more information, sooner, than the other news sources? Look at all the pix. Are they being fed?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I don’t know, but the Mail is infamous for selling unreliable scare stories. It’s not part of the Murdoch empire, but its demographics are similar.

    • Rayne says:

      I might have ignored DailyMail if it hadn’t been that a couple better reporters thought this particular effort was good.

      The one bit which stands out to me is the photo of the apartment building showing law enforcement wearing a jacket marked POLICE in a corner window which sounds like the same window through which a neighbor had seen and then reported firearms in ‘early 2021’. How did that photo come about?

      The other bit about this reporting which does give me pause is the reporter’s background:
      https://www.leadershipinstitute.org/training/contact.cfm?FacultyID=4780990

      Right-wing incubator Leadership Institute and a stint at Free Beacon? Hmm. Keep an eye on her.

    • YancyFaith says:

      It’s my understanding that they stake out places sources are likely to be found (or visit) and, more importantly, they pay sources for stories, especially exclusives.

      I learned about this while following the case of the real estate agent kidnapped and murdered by a husband and wife in the Little Rock, Arkansas, area.

      It came up in another case, too. Chase Merritt, who murdered the McStay family. California, I believe.
      (Yes, I was a true crime junkie and then real life politics got even weirder and crazier than any Nancy Grace case.)

  36. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Further to KBJ’s confirmation, a Guardian article reminded me of another African American, famous for being better than anyone else at everything he did: Paul Robeson.

    Born 124 years ago tomorrow, he was a nationally ranked athlete and valedictorian of his class at Rutgers (the only African American then at Rutgers and the third in its history). He earned a law degree at Columbia – while playing in the nascent NFL. He was a world class singer and actor, and civil rights, labor, and political activist. J. Edgar Hoover made it his special mission, as he did later with MLK, to taint and ostracize him from American life. He had lots of support, “Et tu Cotton, Cruz, Hawley, Graham, and Blackburn.”

    One of his most famous acting roles, in a string of productions, was as Othello. He kissed his white Desdemona four decades before Kirk embraced Uhura. Of his many singing and operatic performances, one of his most memorable was in 1960, “at the construction site” for Australia’s, Sydney Opera House. His renditions of Ol’ Man River and the labor anthem, Joe Hill, are legendary. His support for aboriginal rights was less popular, but equally memorable.

    The Guardian article is nominally about the renewed interest in a famous portrait of Robeson, dressed as Othello, now correctly titled, but once labeled, “Head of a Negro.” Plus ca change.

    https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2022/apr/08/paul-robeson-lost-portrait-glyn-philpot-othello-chichester-exhibition
    https://www.smh.com.au/culture/art-and-design/sixty-years-on-opera-singer-pays-tribute-to-paul-robeson-20201109-p56cpq.html

    • Hopeful says:

      A little OT for this discussion, but, as a young man, I saw Mr Robeson sing some of his trademark songs in the Catskills in 1973.

      In those days I liked Marc Bolan, Ian Hunter, Bryan Ferry, and others, but his voice was unique and I can still hear it and enjoy.

      Sorry for the intrusion.

  37. Eureka says:

    Live on tv — Whitmer kidnapping plot no convictions: deadlocked re 2 defs, not guilty re 2 other defs.

  38. HW3 says:

    So is it looking like these clowns are just blue-backing cosplayers who read Rich Dad Poor Dad and saw Tweety Amin’s lifestyle and decided to live it up on somebody else’s dime, the American Way, and to share the wealth with ‘fellow’ cops?

    • Rayne says:

      You’re entitled to your opinion; if you pose a theory you’d better be able to back it up. So far all you’ve got is an opinion.

      Welcome to emptywheel, btw.

      • My Uncle Fred says:

        I don’t fully agree w/ HW3. But, after finding what I could today at various news sources/aggregators, some of his opinions sound plausible.

        Many sources ignored the story. Of those that reported, the common theme seemed to demystify AET as a 2-bit grifter having some fun. Meanwhile Ali was largely ignored. As Marcy has previously suggested, the story is often hidden in what isn’t said. And I believe Ali was the source of (or at least stories of) links to Pakistan and ISI, among others.

        TPM offered a pretty good write up, but the piece by The Daily Beast https://www.thedailybeast.com/homeland-security-conman-arian-taherzadehs-arrest-is-karma-says-former-friend-from-kansas-city?ref=home was my favorite.

        ATMO, if there’s more to the story, the trail begins with Ali about whom we know very little.

    • Eureka says:

      ‘As Jr. believes that “autogolpe” is what follows his latest bump, this office concludes that Jr. is too dumb to plan a coup.’

      • WilliamOckham says:

        My favorite part of the article is Jr.’s lawyer saying Jr. just forwarded the message from someone else.

        Duh, nobody thinks Jr. is smart enough to come up with that plan on his own.

        • Eureka says:

          Apparently finding democracy to be too dumb (once again), NYT nestled the story A15 below the fold.

  39. Eureka says:

    There plenty of other dazzling new infos out today (earlier, Rozen was crowdsourcing the passport stamp/visa deets; etc.), but I’d like to note that in their detention memo p9 photo, that folder full of files includes at least two labeled “SHELLEM JAMES M” (one of the sketchy associates — or “associates” — many were looking into). Lots of other names visible.

    • My Uncle Fred says:

      Probably no relation, but to a midwesterner, the east coast is so compressed that Philly seems just like a suburb of DC. SO…

      On LinkedIn, there is a James Shellem with a very thin profile: “armed security Allied Universal greater Philadelphia”. No recent activity noted. But employment and geographically adjacent to AET.

      Looking up his All Activity, there are two posts. One about the crest of the 67th Cyberspace Wing in San Antonio-Lackland TX. The other is about Matthew Shellem ( Son? Nephew?) graduating as a Cyberspace Operations Leader from the U.S. Army War College.

      At present, just a data point. Not enough to suggest a relationship to our devious friends in DC. But it’s something to tuck away as facts emerge.

      • Leoghann says:

        That could have been the prep work for setting up yet another set of fake identities, not necessarily for Taherzadeh, but to serve as officers for shell companies or references.

      • Eureka says:

        Going by other observations: Different guy, different middle initial, no reason to believe is related to AET’s “USSP” co-principal. Atlantic City (which would be “Greater Philadelphia”) police lt. and spokesman (so is cited in numerous news articles) by that name. AFAIU, Allied Universal is a legit security company that (also) employs lots of (off-duty/former) cops — so if that’s associated with this different guy, would seem not unusual.

        Separate issue: I really wish there was some standard where media and DOJ would or could refer to “USSP” with consistent scarequotes or some always-present modifier (~ “defendants’ company/LLC”) to clearly dissociate it from any government entity (alphabet soup being part of the reason these guys could pass that scam off in the first place). Seems especially important in a case where documents and reports are otherwise populated with acronyms for legit government entities like USPIS etc.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          The Government Accountability Institute (GAI) is another example of deceptive titles. It was founded by Steve Bannon and Peter Schweitzer and funded by the Mercers.

  40. mospeck says:

    “Fake Federal personnel in the Navy yard” expect is just the normal order of spies and root basic standard spy protocols. Meanwhile the big boss Mister Big has yet to report to Fearless Leader and he needs to show progress forward. After all these are siloviki, powerful folk who can have you wiped clean from the face of the earth. And they have balls of steel
    “..forward!! he cried! from the rear .. and the front rank died.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjX1BGcEXP8
    vlad and peskov and valery g are just amazing people.. they are like the lions, tigers and bears of our next gen, and just so brave. And esp you vlad, with your hundred foot long table, which just left your Z tank guys speechless, whilst them flicking off those pesky little mosquito javs. And you just set a new fucking bravery standard for general couragery and braveness under fire and red badge of courage big time bravery beyond brave which will no doubt be writ in illuminated manuscripts for braveness ten centuries from now. vlad, you fighting off those Ukrainian Nazi joes and their Jew Nazi president has just set the new gold standard for brave beyond fucking brave. Did I say gold standard? No it’s way well past gold. You are the polonium 210 standard and don’t trust anybody
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WGFV3xptok

  41. Rapier says:

    I think it was just two guys living fabulous lives as bullshitters. Making it up as they went along with no particular destination in mind although it seems like jail would occur the them as one, but what the hell, it was fun while it lasted. Like some kind of wacky bro comedy.

    Would I bet the ranch that’s how it went down? More evidence needed.

  42. My Uncle Fred says:

    One more thought before I return to waiting for some more substantive info…

    The original story about them being witnesses to an assault may be somewhat twisted.

    AET & Ali were know to building staff. They were known as being government agents. It was understood that they had access to the surveillance systems in the buildings. If the Postal Inspectors came making inquiries, might the staff direct them to (supposed) professional allies who could reveal whatever may have been recorded?

    I’m leaning strongly to this supposition. But it remains to be seen if there was an actual assault being investigated, or if this was a pretext to meet these fellows.

  43. Leoghann says:

    All these theories are fun. When the story first broke, it struck me as a WITAF tale. First off, I thought of the losers we’ve all seen, who buy an old, clapped out police vehicle, have it painted black or navy, and add a weird collection of lights, visible inside the car. Then they stomp around in navy blue or khaki uniforms and look important. But, as Rayne pointed out, the money is the sticking point. Even if much of it was scammed, there were hundreds of thousands of dollars that changed hands.

    This morning, I had a long wait in a doctor’s office, and fell into a rabbit hole, reading about the thing. I have to say, although some of it is very informative, I’ve seen a lot of shit reporting, referencing “sources close to the investigation.” Here’s what I’ve picked up from the articles that didn’t feel like they were pulled from the Marvel Universe.

    In March, a mail carrier was assaulted on the street near the DC Crossings apartment building. The office of the Postal Inspector investigates all such cases, and either the concierge or a building resident told the investigator that the gentlemen in whatever-apartment may have witnessed the assault. When the investigator interviewed them, their claims of being US Special Police, DHS, and Capitol Police didn’t ring true–the inspector had never heard of some of those agencies. So the investigator investigated the claims of the two, and it appeared they were fakers. So interviews of some of their neighbors commenced. The raid was three weeks later.

    As the timelines Rayne and Harpie show, Taherzadeh has a record of shell companies, scams, and lawsuits that stretch back at least 15 years. His CV has as many fake positions as the Trump Organization has appraisals. He is a natural-born citizen with an Iranian father and very midwestern mom. Eugene, Arian’s middle name, is either her maiden name or her father’s given name (my memory’s fuzzy on that detail). Earlier shell companies were registered in Missouri, but at some point he moved to the Washington area, and later registrations are in Virginia, Maryland, and DC.

    Ali would seem to be the quieter of the two, maybe the gullible, agreeable junior partner. The complication with that assumption is that it’s Ali who has the scary, expensive travel history to Middle Eastern places like Doha, Qatar; Pakistan; and Iran. I read the Reuters article about the interview of his “mother,” and am convinced they got the wrong Mrs. Ali. Haider Ali is a much more common name than the other guy’s.

    The Belorusian person was listed as another tenant of their apartments, but moved away several months ago. They are kind of a mystery character. But keep in mind that the DCMPD interviewed them pretty thoroughly after the report of visible firearms. That might spook someone who didn’t have a very strong cover story.

    They were certainly good at ingratiating themselves with the law enforcement types who lived in the building, as well as FBI, DHS, and Secret Service. But that’s what con men do; they ingratiate themselves. Whether there was a quid pro quo for their extravagant gifts, or the two were just trying to be good guys and part of the gang is something that will probably come out later. But we’ll probably be hearing about this for awhile.

  44. My Uncle Fred says:

    If AET & Ali were just grifters, where’d they get the money? It was reported that they weren’t evicted due to Covid tenant protections. Not sure how that worked for a corp. lease, or for apts. in excess of the two needed for AET & Ali. But they had a good game there.

    Now in for a dime, in for a dollar. All these shell companies may have provided a great vehicle for fraudulent Covid payroll assistance. We know that there was lots of this going around, and the Covid crisis closely overlaps the timing of this grift. This seems like an Occam’s razor solution, but nowhere near enough for the government to stop looking for espionage/terrorist connections.

    Finally, didn’t Tischman Speyer do a credit check on the firm and it’s principals prior to signing leases? Some reasonably big dollars were in the line, and it seems like any prudent business would check this prior to signing the lease. If there was a credit check, how did our boys grift that?

    • grennan says:

      Re the credit check…

      with “governmenty” talk, covertoid “agency” riff and laser-printed checks (and or “purchase orders”). The local private sector isn’t like any other city’s.

      The postal police are one of the government’s oldest security agencies, one of the few not folded into DHS. They’re good (remember when they arrested Bannon?)

      I have wondered for a long time why USPS hasn’t followed up on the Trump Organization fraudulent valuation investigation because at some point you’d think those statements/documents would have been mailed.

  45. Eureka says:

    So sad about Dwayne Haskins.

    Then that idiot Gil Brandt out there running his mouth, among other really callow “takes” (who does this when a young man tragically dies).

      • Eureka says:

        Well, yeah. IDK if this is yet another symptom of Cowboys mania in NFL media but I am over it.

          • Eureka says:

            ‘”It is what it is” will keep you at peace” — apparently what Haskins had recently reposted.

            Maybe we’ll hear a word from scribe in the 7th inning stretch.

    • Eureka says:

      Hi there greenbird — re comment way above, yes I did get it. Thank you also for posting the docket here — this is a better version, too, as a duplicate entry has fewer RECAP docs.

  46. greenbird says:

    ok thanks, rayne, also for the update.timeline.
    i just commented on your twitter TL, well, my pal the springtail did.
    this is in regard to your last sentence before comments begin.
    in particular, the publicly redacted name … of … go look.

  47. sleutherone says:

    Per Rachel Olding of The Daily Beast, other victims have reported suspicious activity, including a Naval Intelligence officer. He reported to NCIS that he was being pumped for information by one of the pair. They had NCIS training manuals among other similar items.

    Shipping material and cases for the handguns were in a shipping box with some cigars.

    The Secret Service Agent from the White House may have tipped off the pair to the pending arrest. (Could be the one from Uniformed Division)

    Sorry if this is paywalled.

    https://www.thedailybeast. com/arian-taherzadeh-haider-ali-were-tipped-off-to-arrest-for-posing-as-homeland-security-agents-doj-says

    • Eureka says:

      Boss Hogg, you say?

      Darn it, I read along a bit too quickly and thought there was a video of _this_ meeting.

      Perseverant little fuckers.

      Kind of astounded at some of the broad (enough)-daylight publicly-affiliating dumbness, too. I guess (especially) Eastman and Raiklin know their lovechild’s long out of the bag, though. Assumption of impunity or going for broke …

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