Man Gets 25 years in plot to kill Saudi ambassador
NEW YORK, NY – An Iranian-American who pleaded guilty to participating in a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York said.
Prosecutors said Manssor Arbabsiar tried to recruit a Mexican drug cartel to bomb a Washington restaurant where Saudi Ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir dined. But the scheme unraveled when Arbabsiar’s cartel contact turned out to be an undercover agent.
Arrested in September 2011, Arbabsiar pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan in October and admitted to conspiring with members of the Iranian military in the formulation of the plot.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said earlier that the plot had been endorsed by parts of the Iranian government, but Iran has denied any involvement.
Arbabsiar met “on a number of occasions in Mexico with a Drug Enforcement Administration confidential source,” officials said in a federal complaint.
Posing as an associate of a sophisticated and violent international drug cartel, the source was hired by Arbabsiar and his cohorts to assassinate the ambassador, the complaint said.
By Chris Boyette
CNN’s Carol Cratty contributed to this report.
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