Two Iranians who collected data on Israeli and Jewish targets within the US and on opponents of the Iranian regime, had been charged Monday with spying for Tehran.
Ahmadreza Mohammadi-Doostdar, 38, a twin US-Iranian citizen, and Majid Ghorbani, 59, an Iranian citizen and resident of California, had been arrested on August 9.
According to the indictment launched by the Justice Department, Doostdar traveled to the United States from Iran in or round July 2017, with the purpose of gathering intelligence on entities and people thought of to be enemies of the Iranian regime.
This included Israeli and Jewish pursuits, in addition to people linked to The People’s Mujahedeen (MEK), an Iranian opposition group which was thought of by the US to be a terror group till 2012.
The indictment states that on or about July 21, 2017, Doostdar carried out surveillance and took photographs at a number of Jewish facilities in Chicago, together with the Hillel Center and the Rohr Chabad House. Doostdar is accused of taking detailed photos of the safety measures on the ultra-orthodox Chabad middle.
The indictment doesn’t identify the Israeli targets.
Doostdar then traveled to California the place he met Ghorbani, apparently for the primary time, in accordance with the indictment.
Two months later Ghorbani flew to New York for sooner or later the place he attended an MEK rally and took pictures of individuals in attendance.
In December Doostdar traveled again to California to get the MEK data. In conversations between them recorded by the FBI, Ghorbani talked about making an attempt to “penetrate” the group, whereas Doostdar spoke of being directed by others to gather the data.
“I’ll give it to the fellows to do their analysis,” he stated of the images.
The indictment says he paid $2,000 to Ghorbani of their conferences.
In March and April this yr, Ghorbani went to Iran the place, in accordance with the indictment, he briefed authorities officers on his data on MEK and acquired a listing of “taskings” for infiltrating the dissident group.
In May, Ghorbani attended the MEK-supported Iran Freedom Convention for Human Rights in Washington as a part of the California delegation, the place he additionally took photos of attendees, together with whereas posing in entrance of the White House.
Doostdar and Ghorbani had been each charged with performing as unregistered brokers of the Iranian authorities and offering the Iran authorities with companies in violation of sanctions.
In July it was reported that Israel’s Mossad spy company thwarted a plan to bomb a June 30 convention organized by the MEK in Paris. The operation led to the arrest of a cell headed by an Iranian diplomat.
Original article https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-indicts-2-iranians-for-spying-and-surveillance-of-israeli-jewish-targets/