Every once in a while, a story comes along that shatters the illusion of confidence in our allegedly elite federal agencies. This week, it is a story coming out of Washington, D.C., and involves the Secret Service.
Now, the Secret Service has had its share of bad press over the years. In 2012 the agency was involved in a scandal that involved agents hiring prostitutes while on foreign assignments. This episode was especially galling because it exposed the agents to classic “honey pot” operations by foreign intelligence agencies, which could have resulted in extortion attempts or other attempts to compromise operations.
You would think that after cases like this the agency would be on guard for more attempts to compromise its agents.
Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Ali, 36, were arrested in Washington, D.C., this week for an infiltration plot of the Secret Service. The two men claimed to be federal agents as members of a Homeland Security Task force.
While more details will certainly be forthcoming, the scheme fell apart when there was an investigation about an assault near the building where they lived. An agent from the Post Office realized that the task force the two men claimed to be members of did not exist. When they were apprehended the two men had passports from both Pakistan and Iran, suggesting there may be an intelligence link to foreign governments.
When asked about the situation, White House press secretary Jen Psaki managed to successfully avoid any form of direct answer.