Current Weather
The Spy FM

Guilty Plea In Plot To Murder Saudi Ambassador

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
October 17, 2012

Manssor Arbabsiar, an Iranian-born naturalized American citizen, has pleaded guilty to conspiring with Iranian military officials in a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States, the Justice Department says.

He was arrested last October, as we reported at the time. It was a case, spy novelist and Washington Post foreign policy columnist David Ignatius said then, that read more like an Elmore Leonard “caper novel” than a cloak-and-dagger “spy novel.”

Ignatius thought the tale of a Iranian-born U.S. citizen living in Texas reaching out to a man he thought was with a Mexican drug cartel (who turned out to be a paid informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration) and trying to arrange the bombing of the ambassador, was “extremely unusual and sloppy … tradecraft” and isn’t how Iran’s spy agencies usually work.

But Justice says that:

“In connection with his guilty plea, Arbabsiar admitted that, from the spring of 2011 to the fall of 2011, he conspired with officials in the Iranian military who were based in Iran to cause the assassination of the Saudi Arabian ambassador while the ambassador was in the United States. Arbabsiar acknowledged that at the direction of these co-conspirators, he traveled to Mexico on several occasions during 2011 in order to arrange the assassination of the ambassador. Arbabsiar admitted that, with his co-conspirators’ approval, he had arranged to hire a DEA confidential source (CS-1), who claimed to be a representative of a drug cartel, and CS-1′s criminal associates, to murder the ambassador. Arbabsiar further admitted that he agreed to pay $1.5 million to CS-1 and had discussed with CS-1 a plan to murder the ambassador at a restaurant in Washington, D.C. — a plan that was approved by Arbabsiar’s co-conspirators. Arbabsiar then arranged for a $100,000 down payment, in two installments, to be wired to CS-1.”

According to the FBI, “Gholam Shakuri, aka ‘Ali Gholam Shakuri,’ a co-conspirator and Iran-based member of the Qods Force … who was also charged in the plot, remains at large.” He’s presumably in Iran.

Iranian officials have accused the U.S. of fabricating the plot.

Arbabsiar “faces a maximum potential sentence of 25 years in prison (10 years on counts one and two, and five years on count three),” Justice says. He is to be sentenced in January. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

11AM to 12PM The Story

The Story

The Story with Dick Gordon brings the news home through first-person accounts. The live weekday program is passionate, personal, immediate and relevant to listeners, focusing on the news where it changes our lives, causes us to stop and rethink, inspires us.

Listen Live Now!

12PM to 1PM Fresh Air

Fresh Air

This one-hour program features Terry Gross' in-depth interviews with prominent cultural and entertainment figures, as well as distinguished experts on current affairs and news.

View the program guide!

1PM to 2PM Talk of the Nation

Talk of the Nation

Journalist Neal Conan leads a productive exchange of ideas and opinions on the issues that dominate the news landscape.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center