U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s statement on the thwarted plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States

Transcript of statement by Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, on the thwarted assassination plot against the Saudi ambassador to the United States:

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara. IMAGE SOURCE: C-SPAN.org

“As has been described, the complaint unsealed today reveals a well-funded and pernicious plot that had as its first priority the assassination of the Saudi ambassador to the United States.

“The details of that murder plot are chilling to say the least as the defendants have no care or concerns about inflicting mass casualties on innocent Americans on American soil in furtherance of their assassination plan. For example, as set forth in the complaint, when the confidential source noted that there could be 100 or 150 people in a fictional restaurant where the requested bombing would take place, including possibly members of the United States Congress, the lead defendant, acting on behalf of a component of the government of Iran, said “No problem” and “No big deal.”

“As we alleged, the defendants showed they were more than ready, willing, and able to carry out their plan by, among other things, causing $100,000 to be wired using a New York bank as a deadly down payment for their hired gun.

“It didn’t stop there. The Saudi ambassador’s assassination was allegedly intended to be merely the opening act in a series of lethal attacks cooked up by the defendants and their cohorts in Iran.

“Like these speakers before me, I want to thank all the partners responsible for unraveling this plot before it ever even got off the ground.

“Our work, as has been said, is a product of a collaborative effort among intelligence and law enforcement agencies that share an unflagging commitment to keeping Americans safe both at home and abroad and protecting representatives of foreign governments while they are guests in our country.

“I want to commend Director [Robert] Mueller and the FBI for its outstanding work on this unprecedented and very much ongoing investigation, specifically also the Houston FBI office for its tremendous work and also the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force and our partner in so many of these cases Janice Fedarcyk, the assistant director in charge of there in the New York office.

“I also want to thank the Houston office of the DEA for their important role in this investigation, and of course, the Attorney General [Eric Holder] and his staff, Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco, and our close colleagues at the National Security Division for their tremendous leadership and support.

“Finally, I just want to acknowledge the dedicated career prosecutors in my own office in the Southern District of New York: Glen Kopp and Edward Kim, along with their supervisors Michael Farbiarz and Jocelyn Strauber, Deputy U.S. Attorney Richard Zabel, and the acting chief of the criminal division, Jonathan Kolodner. None of the people that had been mentioned by me and others have gotten much sleep lately, and we’re all safer because of it.

“Today’s charges should make crystal clear that we will not let other countries use our soil as their battleground.”



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