Iranian Agents Charged With Targeting U.S. Locations

Sleeper agents/assassins in our midst?

On August 20, 2018 the Department of Justice issued a press release, Two Individuals Charged for Acting as Illegal Agents of the Government of Iran. 

That press release began with this paragraph:

An indictment was returned today charging Ahmadreza Mohammadi-Doostdar, 38, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, and Majid Ghorbani, 59, an Iranian citizen and resident of California, with allegedly acting on behalf of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran by conducting covert surveillance of Israeli and Jewish facilities in the United States, and collecting identifying information about American citizens and U.S. nationals who are members of the group Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK).

On the very same day, ABC News reported, Feds charge man in Chicago in bizarre Iranian spy plot.

Although the two individuals who have been charged with committing serious crimes, we should note that they have not, as yet been convicted.  However the information contained in the criminal complaints filed by the FBI for defendants Ahmadreza Mohammadi Doostdar and Majid Ghorbani paint a very disturbing picture of a sophisticated conspiracy in which the two individuals appear to be classic “sleeper agents” who were allegedly targeting locations connected to Israel and the Jewish community in the United States as well as members of the U.S. Congress.

The criminal complaints read like spy novels with these two conducting clandestine meetings with each other and with others, such as a furtive meeting with a woman in a museum that was surveilled by the FBI.

Additionally,  the DOJ press release notes:

On or about July 21, 2017, Doostdar is alleged to have conducted surveillance of the Rohr Chabad House, a Jewish institution located in Chicago, including photographing the security features surrounding the facility.

These two had allegedly targeted a group that supports the overthrow of the Iranian regime, photographing those attending rallies and other events.  They are also alleged to have surveilled Hillel House in Chicago as well as other locations.

My May 11, 2018 article, Congressional Hearing: Iranian Sleeper Cells Threaten U.S., was, as the tile of my piece indicates, predicated on a hearing conducted by the House Homeland Security Committee about the wide-ranging operations of Iranian-backed Hezbollah and Hamas operatives around the world with special emphasis on their increasing involvement in Latin America along with their Qods Forces (shock troops). 

I urge you to read my earlier article to gain a clear understanding of the magnitude of the Iranian threats especially now that Iran’s leaders have refused to renovate the nuclear deal and have amped up hostile rhetoric against the United States.

You must also consider that for many years members of the elite Iranian Quds have routinely traveled between Tehran, Iran and Caracas, Venezuela.  Venezuela’s economic meltdown, it must be noted, may provide Iran with recruitment opportunities for Iran’s terrorist goals.

This reenforces the need to finally secure the dangerous U.S./Mexican border and take other measures to secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States even as radical Democrats call for the dismantling of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

The backgrounds of the two defendants in the case, that serves as the basis for my article today, seen through the immigration prism, cannot be ignored and I hope are being considered by the FBI agents who have been conducting this investigation.

To begin with, we should make note that the term “sleeper agent” refers to any person who by one means or another, gains entry into the United States and maintains a low profile waiting for the day that he/she is called into action.

Defendant Doostdar was identified in the criminal complaint as a dual national who holds U.S. citizenship and Iranian citizenship.  He was born in the United States in Long Beach, California, in 1980.  He was allegedly taken from the United States by his parents in 1982 to Canada and then on to Tehran.  According to the complaint he made two short visits to the United States and then returned to the United States in 2017.

Defendant Ghorbani was born in 1959 and raised in Iran.  According to the complaint he first entered the Untied States in 1995 and was granted lawful immigrant status on May 28, 2015.

This raises serious questions pertaining to immigration.

To begin with, how and why did Majid Ghorbani enter the U.S. in 1995?  As noted in the complaint, 1995 was a significant year because that was the year that President Clinton signed an Executive Order sanctioning Iran.  Ghorbani was approximately 36 years old back then, and was clearly an adult.  According to the complaint he first became a lawful immigrant in 2015 but there has been no mention as to his immigration status for those 20 years between his entry into the United States and his becoming a resident alien.

Hopefully his immigration file provides answers to these critically important questions and, hopefully, the FBI is scouring his file to find those answers.

It is likely that he did not have criminal history, up until now, this brings us back to the foolish notion that we should not seek to arrest and deport illegal aliens who have no criminal histories.

For years a debate has raged about birthright citizenship and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the conferring of U.S. citizenship at birth on any person born in the United States, other than the children of diplomats. 

The debate is over whether or not this amendment that was intended to only confer full U.S. citizenship upon freed slaves or should also apply to children of aliens.

Most countries do not confer citizenship upon children born to aliens within their territories.  I would contend that this practice of conferring U.S. citizenship upon the children of aliens, particularly illegal aliens, creates extremely strong incentives for aliens to enter the United States, by whatever means possible, to give birth to children who, when they turn 21 years of age, become able to petition for their parents and siblings to be admitted as resident aliens.

We have thus witnessed the phenomena of “birth tourism” where aliens from all over the world, come to the United States to give birth to their children for this specific purpose.

One of the problems I have been concerned about is how this creates a vulnerability that can be exploited by our enemies.

While I know absolutely nothing about the defendants in this case or their families, it is certainly important to consider that Doostdar was born in California in 1980 and shortly thereafter taken from the United States, presumably by his parents to Canada and then on to Tehran.

In 1980 Iran was holding American hostages who were seized when our embassy at Tehran was overrun. 

While it is possible that she was herself an American who married a citizen of Iran and then simply moved to Iran with her husband, a fairly innocuous explanation for his having been born in the U.S. and taken to Iran shortly after his birth, there is another possibility.  While I hate to engage in sheer speculation, it is impossible to not consider that his mother may have come to the United States with the specific intention of having a child in the United States who would acquire citizenship at birth, who could one day return to the United States who could conceal his movements and activities in the United States because of his U.S. citizenship.

Radicals are called radicals because of their extreme beliefs and if his mother was, in fact, a radical, it would not be a stretch to imagine that she may have had this motivation in mind when she gave birth to him.

This is an avenue of investigation that I hope the FBI will pursue, and raises an issue I addressed not long ago when I was interviewed for a television program.  I was asked about my thoughts on the 14th Amendment and birthright citizenship.  At the time I opined that birthright citizenship could be exploited in the sort of scenario that I just laid out.

The threats posed to America and Americans by Iran and its terror network have been long known.

Consider, for example,

On March 21, 2012 the House Committee on Homeland Security that was then chaired by New York Congressman Peter King, conducted a hearing on the topic, Iran, Hezbollah, and the Threat to the Homeland.  The Huffington Post published a report on the hearing,

Peter King: Iran May Have ‘Hundreds’ Of Hezbollah Agents In U.S.

On April 21, 2010 the Washington Times published a disturbing report predicated on a Pentagon report to Congress on Iran’s military operations in Latin America, Iran boosts Qods shock troops in Venezuela. Here is an excerpt:

The report gives no details on the activities of the Iranians in Venezuela and Latin America. Iranian-backed terrorists have conducted few attacks in the region. However, U.S. intelligence officials say Qods operatives are developing networks of terrorists in the region who could be called to attack the United States in the event of a conflict over Iran’s nuclear program.

As we approach the 17th anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, we must remember that 911 and subsequent terror attacks were made possible only by multiple failures of the immigration system. 

We must learn history’s lessons.