Mike Pompeo target of a $1 million, second assassination plot
The Department of Justice revealed a murder-for-hire plot against former Trump adviser John Bolton, and sources say Pompeo was also targeted
Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced that an Iranian national, a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was charged in “the commission of murder-for-hire” in a “transnational murder plot.”
The Justice Department said that court documents revealed Shahram Poursafi, 45, attempted to pay a U.S. resident $300,000 to murder former national security adviser John Bolton.
According to the Justice Department, Poursafi had contacted an individual online to take photographs of Bolton for a book. The individual referred him to an associate, whom Poursafi began communicating with via encrypted messaging applications starting Nov. 9, 2021.
The Justice Department said “Poursafi expressed regret that the murder would not be conducted by the anniversary of Qassem Soleimani’s death.” Soleimani was “the architect of nearly every significant operation by Iranian intelligence and military forces over the past two decades,” The New York Times reports.
Who was Qassem Soleimani?
Iranian Major Gen. Soleimani was killed in a drone strike authorized by then-President Donald Trump when an American MQ-9 Reaper drone fired missiles into a convoy that was leaving the Baghdad International Airport.
Iran’s former Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told NPR it “was an act of aggression, an armed attack — albeit a cowardly armed attack — against an Iranian official in foreign territory. It amounts to war.”
In a 2020 speech, Trump said “Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him.”
A second target
On Jan. 21, 2022, Poursafi indicated he had a second target, for $1 million in cryptocurrency, according to the Justice Department. He revealed he had insider knowledge about the whereabouts and schedule of that person. Axios reported that a source close to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “has confirmed directly to Secretary Pompeo that he is one of the individuals who has been targeted.”
Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen said in a press briefing that “Iran and other hostile governments should understand that the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will do everything in our power to thwart their violent plots and bring those responsible to justice.”