(RepublicanView.org) – Justice Department prosecutors have indicted an Iranian over a murder-for-hire plot aimed at dissidents living in the United States. The prosecutors are accusing Naji Sharifi Zindashti, based in Iran, of spending two years orchestrating a plot to kill two unnamed dissidents residing in Maryland.
Investigators claim that the plot began when Zindashti contacted Canadian Damion Patrick John Ryan and offered him a money-making opportunity. Ryan is a member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, and he subsequently reached out to fellow member Adam Richard Pearson, a Canadian living in Minnesota. Messages from Pearson to Ryan described shooting the targets in the head. One such message stated, “We gotta erase his head from his torso.”
The two men and a third unnamed co-conspirator allegedly agreed to carry out the killing for $350,000, with a further $20,000 for expenses.
Pearson and Ryan are currently detained in Canada on unrelated charges but face a conspiracy and illegal firearm possession indictment in the US. Zindashti remains at large in Iran.
Matt Olsen, head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, released a statement declaring that the Department would vigorously pursue anyone attempting to attack political dissidents in America.
The US and the UK subsequently imposed sanctions on Naji Sharifi Zindashti and his associates, saying he is the organizer of a major criminal network, is responsible for several assassination plots, and runs a drug-smuggling ring on behalf of the Iranian government.
Turkish officials believe he is responsible for the abduction of a Swedish-Iranian activist, who was kidnapped while visiting Turkey and later executed in Iran. Zindashti has been arrested several times on drug charges.
US sanctions will prevent Zindashti from conducting any business or transaction with any person inside the United States, while the British government, imposing similar restrictions, has issued warnings to 15 Iranians living in the UK. The alerts, issued to individuals over the past two years, warned that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard may target them for assassination.
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