Patt Morrison for October 11, 2011

US Justice Department accuses Iran of terror plot on American soil

U.S. Implicates Iran In Terror Plot To Assassinate Saudi Ambassador, Attack Saudi, Israeli Embassies In DC

Win McNamee/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 11: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (R), Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (C), and FBI Director Robert Mueller (L) announce a plot was foiled involving men allegedly linked to the Iranian government to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. and to bomb the embassies of Saudi Arabia and Israel in Washington.

Today the Justice Department accused two officials of the Iranian government of being involved in a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States and to bomb the embassy of Saudi Arabia.

According to court documents filed in the Southern District of New York, the two men accused were Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old U.S. citizen who also holds an Iranian passport, and Gholam Shakuri, whom authorities said was a Quds Force member. Mr. Shakuri remains at large but Mr. Arbabsiar, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was arrested on September 29. Attorney General Eric Holder said the U.S. would hold Iran accountable but when Holder was asked whether the plot was sanctioned by Iranian government, he said the DOJ was not making that accusation. According to FBI Director Robert Mueller, many lives could have been lost in the plot to kill the ambassador with bombs in the U.S. The Justice Department offered details of a convoluted international plot involving Mexican drug cartels, hired murderers and money transfers from unknown locations.


How should the Obama administration respond be the alleged plot?


Sebastian Rotella, senior reporter, ProPublica

Ali Nader, international policy analyst, RAND Corporation; lead author, "The Next Supreme Leader: Succession in the Islamic Republic of Iran" (2011)

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