American Morning

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October 12th, 2011
10:34 AM ET

Former CIA official on the viability of an Iranian terror plot

U.S. agents disrupted an Iranian "murder-for-hire" scheme targeting Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. on Tuesday. Attorney General Eric Holder said the alleged plan was directed by elements of the Iranian government, but Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is saying this "is a fabrication." Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, and Ali Gholam Shakuri, an Iran-based member of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, are accused of a conspiracy to murder a foreign official, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism, the FBI said Tuesday.

The Saudi ambassador was not the only intended target, U.S. officials said. The suspects also discussed attacking Israeli and Saudi embassies in Washington and possibly Buenos Aires, Argentina, a senior U.S. official said. It is unclear why the Saudi ambassador was targeted, the official said, or how widespread knowledge or approval of the plot was within Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government.

This mornign on American Morning, Ali Velshi talks with Chad Sweet, a former CIA official, who explained the significance of this intelligence feat – and why the United States might not be so lucky in the future.

Filed under: Iran • Terrorism
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