Alleged ISI members held in US for posing as federal agents

New Delhi: Two men, one of them had ties to Pakistani intelligence and had visas from Pakistan and Iran, were arrested in Washington for impersonating as federal agents. Haider Ali, 35 and Arian Taherzadeh, 40, were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly impersonating federal agents since 2020.

The two accused posed as federal agents and gave free apartments and other gifts to US Secret Service agents, including the one who worked on the first lady`s security detail.

Both the accused were arrested from a luxury building in Washington by the FBI, which found paraphernalia, handguns and assault rifles used by federal law enforcement agencies on them.

During a court appearance on Thursday, Assistant US Attorney said Ali said that one of the accused was affiliated with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency in Pakistan and possessed multiple visas from Pakistan and Iran.

The accused had earlier taken multiple trips to the Middle East and his US  travel records also showed he had travelled to Istanbul, Turkey and Doha in Qatar, the attorney added.

The two were discovered on March 14, when the U.S. Postal Inspector responded to a DC apartment building for a report of an assault involving a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier.

What did the accused do?

Taherzadeh and Ali identified themselves as members of the Homeland Connect Security unit they called the US Special Police Investigation Unit. Both the accused were involved in undercover gang-related probes, and also investigating last year`s riot at the US Capitol.

Held several apartments

According to the residents of the building, the two held several apartments and claimed that they were being paid for by DHS, had access to residents` surveillance cameras, cell phones and other personal information.

Authorities later learned that many of the buildings` residents were in the FBI, Secret Service and DHS.

The two men also had surveillance equipment and a high-power telescope and 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.

(With PTI inputs)

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