On Sept. 28, Arbabsiar tried to travel to Mexico. He was denied entry, and flew on to New York’s JFK Airport. There, when he got off the plane, federal agents arrested him. A few hours later, he confessed to taking part in the alleged assassination plot. On Oct. 5, from federal custody, he placed a monitored and recorded phone call to his alleged co-conspirator in Iran, Quds Force official Gholam Shakuri, who expressed impatience to get the assassination done, saying “do it quickly, it’s late.”
Late? Late for what? By late September, and even more so by early October, there’s an urgency that comes across in the recorded exchanges detailed in this complaint. Was it simply a matter of wanting to get the attack over and done with, maybe before anything went awry? Or did the impatience reflect some bigger scheme and broader timetable, in which a horrific assassination in Washington was to prepare the way for the next step? Iran’s regime is, after all, in the business of terrorizing, deceiving and defying its way toward nuclear weapons, dominance over the Middle East and deep reach beyond.
As it is, while Arbabsiar on Sept. 20 was telling his erstwhile Mexican cartel connection to “get ready” to carry out the terror attack in Washington, Ahmadinejad on that same day was settling into the Warwick Hotel in New York. Over the next few days, he hosted a banquet at the Warwick, spoke to the UN General Assembly, held a press conference, and departed just four days before Arbabsiar tried to enter Mexico to provide human collateral to guarantee payment to a Mexican drug cartel for what he, and Iran’s Quds Force, allegedly believed was an imminent terror attack in Washington.
So, did Ahmadinejad, during his September stay in New York, have any knowledge of the “Chevrolet” assassination plot that Iran’s Quds force had planned for Washington? If so, he might easily have been more than usually amused by the costly and extensive security arrangements provided by the U.S. government for his own protection. While he was in New York, PJ Media’s Roger Simon and I met for a drink at the ground floor bar of the Warwick Hotel (that portion of the hotel was not occupied by Ahmadinejad and his entourage). To get there, you had to traverse concrete road blocks, a cordon of New York cops, a lineup of Secret Service SUVs that stretched almost the length of a city block, another lineup of the Secret Service agents themselves, plus a metal detector (plus a horde of what I believe were Iranian security agents in the lobby).
Perhaps Ahmadinejad didn’t know about the attack his own regime’s terrorist Quds Force had planned for America this season. But the U.S. government did know. And no matter how compelling the lofty business of the UN General Assembly in New York, it is beyond madness that while “elements” of Iran’s government are overseeing and bankrolling the final stages of what they believe is an imminent terrorist attack on Washington, the president of that government is bunking down in well-protected comfort in New York.