CHICAGO (WLS) -- An Iranian-American man was arrested in Chicago in connection with an alleged bizarre spy plot that may have targeted some members of Congress, the ABC7 I-Team has learned.
The Justice Department on Monday released details of what they vividly describe as an Iranian government plot to identify and eliminate political opponents in the U.S., a plot that could put other Americans at risk.
Two men with Iranian ties have been charged. The arrest in Chicago occurred 10 days ago and details emerged on Monday.
Federal authorities said Ahmadreza Mohammadi Doostdar, 38, had the Rohr Chabad Center in Hyde Park and other Jewish organizations under surveillance. They said he was taking photographs of security at the facilities.
In a federal complaint, unsealed Monday in Washington, Doostdar was charged with operating illegally as a foreign agent with a second man, Iranian national Majid Ghorbani, who was arrested in Los Angeles. Ghorbani, 59, has already been transferred to Washington, D.C., and has a court hearing scheduled for Tuesday morning. Such a speedy transfer across the U.S. has indicated to some court observers that he may be cooperating with authorities.
Ghorbani's complaint and the Doostdar charge paint a picture of two men engaged in an elaborate spy scheme, what federal prosecutors call "intelligence trade craft."
Beginning in March of 2017 the men allegedly worked as foreign agents, "in order to conduct covert surveillance on and to collect information from and about the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and Israeli/Jewish groups, and to provide this information back to the Government of Iran" the complaint states. Federal investigators said the information would then be used by Iran "to target these groups."
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