The man accused of posing as a federal agent mentioned links to Pakistani intelligence

A man accused of posing as a federal agent mentioned ties to Pakistani intelligence and had Pakistani and Iranian visas.

One of the two men arrested for allegedly posing as federal officials and giving gifts and free housing to real Secret Service agents in Washington, DC, claimed to have ties to Pakistani intelligence.

He also had visas showing he had traveled to Pakistan and Iran, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Ali, 35, were arrested on Wednesday. The FBI searched a luxury apartment building in the southeast of the US capital where the men lived and had offered free apartments and other gifts to Secret Service agents and officers.

Assistant US Attorney Joshua Rothstein said in court on Thursday that Mr Ali told witnesses he was linked to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency and that in the months before prosecutors believe the men started killing each other to pass as US law, several visas from Pakistan and Iran have been held by law enforcement officials.

Mr Rothstein also said prosecutors believe the men were trying to “curry” and “assimilate” with US federal agents and people who worked in US defense.

The FBI searched five homes in the building and three vehicles on Wednesday. According to Mr. Rothstein, they found body armor, gas masks, cable ties, handcuffs, door-picking devices, drones, two-way radios and police training manuals.

They also had surveillance equipment and a telescope, he added.

The FBI uncovered evidence that they may have made surveillance equipment. They also found a binder with information on all residents of the apartment building, which houses law enforcement officials, defense officials and congressional staffers.

The agency also found several firearms, including handguns and ammunition, as well as disassembled gun parts and sniper scopes, Mr Rothstein said.

Prosecutors say Mr Taherzadeh and Mr Ali falsely claimed to work for the Department of Homeland Security and that they worked on a special task force investigating gangs and violence related to the Jan. 6 riot when Trump supporters asked Congress besieged.

Mr Taherzadeh is accused of providing free housing to intelligence officials and agents. That included a penthouse worth over $40,000 a year.

He also provided iPhones, surveillance systems, a drone, a television, a generator, a gun case and other police tools, court documents said.

According to prosecutors, Mr. Taherzadeh once offered to buy a $2,000 assault rifle for a Secret Service agent tasked with protecting the first lady.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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