If you plan to play a character, it is helpful to not draw attention to yourself. Two men from DC however, didn't realize that. Arian Taherzadeh, 40, as well as Haider Ali, 36, were taken into custody on the evening of April 6, after more than twelve FBI agents swarmed their luxurious apartment. The arrests came after Secret Service agents were approached by the pair with promises of luxurious apartments and other gifts.
Prosecutors say the duo claimed the identities of Secret Service agents and others that were assigned to their respective departments. The Department of Homeland Security assigned them to a task force investigating gangs and violence in connection with the January 6th uprising within the US Capitol. This allowed them to talk to federal agents easily.
Taherzadeh was accused of offering Secret Service officers and agents with free apartments, which include a $40,000 per year penthouse. In addition, he offered iPhones, drones, flat-screen televisions, surveillance systems, a generator, as well as a gun case, and other equipment that agents might consider useful. He also offered the possibility of using a GMC SUV, which he said to be an “official government vehicle”, and to purchase a rifle worth $2,000 to the Secret Service agent who protects the first lady.
Following an investigation into the matter, 4 employees from the Secret Service were placed on administrative leave.
The pair's misfortune was the result of a US Postal Inspection of their home to investigate an attack on the mail carrier. The men were identified as being part of the telephone unit, and the Postal Inspection placed a call with the US Special Police Investigating Unit. They had been making themselves the focus of extra attention by establishing surveillance inside the building and warning residents that their cell phones could be used at any time by the pair. Other residents were worried that the duo had also obtained personal information concerning them.
They're scheduled for an appearance on April 7, but it's unclear if the two will have lawyers involved. Another question that remains unanswered is what the final outcome was. The steps they've implemented are the fundamentals for a variety of methods where they will always notify any person with a security clearance to watch out for. This certainly doesn't appear to be simply being friendly.
Interdepartmental rivalries can be found in DC the same way as they are in the military or sports teams. They'll laugh and joke about it, but they're not offering $40k per year penthouses for someone from another department. The DHS does not issue iPhones to agents to hand over to other organizations. They're not buying guns for agents of the Secret Service, considering they have huge funds to buy the weapon they love the most. They don't have drones or government vehicles available for other departments to use.
The whole scenario sounds like an espionage plot from the Taliban or perhaps a country similar to Iran. Another possibility is obtaining their own Secret Service agent. They could do so much to help him, only for them to be threatening to expose him with all the surveillance evidence that he received bribes. But if he'll perform this one favor for them, the whole thing will be forgotten.
However you decide to look at it, this is an enormous problem. It's not just that anyone can appear as DHS with ease, it is also the case that Secret Service agents would be so trusting of someone who isn't vetted by them. A simple invitation to a lunch with an agent or two, or having a meeting in a predetermined location not open to the public would have been a simple way to check their credentials. The men didn't do any of this, and that's where the real problems begin and what starts the internal investigation. As the public waits for answers, it becomes evident that these individuals were aware of something, or were too ignorant to realize the danger. This makes them an issue for National security.