Two men in Washington D.C. have been arrested after they infiltrated the Secret Service by pretending to be Department of Homeland Security agents.
Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Sher-Ali, 35 were both arrested for impersonating a federal officer.
Taherzadeh and Sher-Ali infiltrated were able to even infiltrate Secret Service agents assigned to the White House and one that was assigned to Jill Biden by giving them free gifts and rent-free apartments.
Pakistani and Iranian passports were found in their apartment after being searched but investigators have yet to find out their motive for infiltrating the Secret Service.
Stash of rifles, passports, visas and sham uniforms found in ‘fake’ DHS agents’ DC apartment. “Two passports and multiple visas from Ali show that he has traveled to Pakistan, Egypt, Qatar, Iran and Turkey.” https://t.co/6pid5mItWt
— Logan Ratick (@Logan_Ratick) April 8, 2022
The FBI activity was connected to two arrests made this evening in a pretty wild case. The two men are accused of posing as DHS agents & giving actual Secret Service agents and officers – including one on the first lady’s detail – gifts & free apartments. https://t.co/42YiBLCRX7 https://t.co/INQ4rlyQ5A
— Mike Balsamo (@MikeBalsamo1) April 7, 2022
The Daily Mail had more on the wild story:
The two men arrested in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday who attempted to cozy up to Secret Service agents could face conspiracy charges after spending their year-and-a-half living in a luxury apartment building allegedly posing as federal agents with the Department of Homeland Security.
Just a mile from the Capitol and three miles from the White House, Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Sher-Ali, 35, were conducting an operation where they posed as agents with Homeland Security Investigations – tricking a luxury DC apartment building and its high profile residents as well as appearing to convince Metro Police Department that they were working for the government.
The question remains, however, on what Ali and Taherzadeh’s motives were in getting close to people with White House access by impersonating government agents and who was funding their lavish lifestyle and slew of gifts.
Taherzadeh and Ali are said in the affidavit to have successfully ingratiated themselves with Secret Service agents, at least two of whom were reportedly given rent-free in penthouse and multiple-bedroom luxury apartments as well as high-end electronics and policing equipment.
The free rent in several units – valued at a minimum of $40,000 per year for just one of the penthouse apartments – was apparently not paid for at all.
A former representative of Crossing DC who worked at the building since the start of Taherzadeh’s lease confirmed that none of the units were being paid for at any time. When asked why they were not paying rent on the units, the individual responded with one word: ‘Government’.
Taherzadeh will be held until his 3:30 p.m. detention hearing on Friday after an arraignment on Thursday afternoon revealed there could be connections between Ali and the Pakistani Intelligence Service.
Never want to help someone lose their job. But I’d have a hard time ever again trusting the judgement of a Secret Service officer who accepted a free luxury apt for a year and various other phones/goodies from someone who vaguely said they were some DHS undercover operative.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) April 7, 2022
“Specifically, TAHERZADEH has provided members of the United States Secret Service (USSS) and an employee of DHS with, among other things, rent-free apartments (with a total yearly rent of over $40,000 per apartment), iPhones, surveillance systems, a drone, a flat screen tv… pic.twitter.com/DRybf1H0H5
— Laura Rozen (@lrozen) April 7, 2022
NPR got the scoop too:
Two men in Washington, D.C., who were allegedly pretending to be special agents with the Department of Homeland Security have been arrested and charged with falsely impersonating a federal officer.
Arian Taherzadeh and Haider Ali have been impersonating federal agents since February 2020, according to an FBI affidavit, and have been able to get close with several Secret Service agents assigned to the White House and one to the first lady’s protection detail by offering favors.
Taherzadeh allegedly provided rent-free apartments, iPhones, surveillance systems, a flat screen television and other items to win over Secret Service agents and one employee of DHS. He also offered what he called “official government vehicles” and offered to purchase a $2,000 assault rifle for the Secret Service agent assigned to the first lady, the affidavit said.