Shahram Poursafi is wanted for his alleged involvement in criminal activities to include material support to terrorism and the attempted murder for hire of a former high-ranking United States Government (USG) official. From October 2021 to April 2022, Iran-based Poursafi allegedly used encrypted, Internet-based messaging applications to hire criminal elements within the United States to murder a former USG official in Washington D.C. or Maryland, in exchange for $300,000 USD. Poursafi allegedly provided material support and resources to facilitate the attempted transnational killing of a person within the United States, an act of terrorism. Poursafi is a uniformed member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a designated foreign terrorist organization, and is assessed to allegedly be working on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force (IRGC- QF) to hire US-based individuals to murder a former USG official;
The US Justice Department announced criminal charges Wednesday against a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for allegedly trying to orchestrate the assassination of John Bolton, who served in senior national security positions during the Trump and Bush administrations.
The alleged plot was “likely in retaliation” for the January 2020 US air strike that killed Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Justice Department said. After the strike, leaders of the terrorist organization vowed “revenge against Americans” for Soleimani’s death and publicly lashed out against then-President Donald Trump and other high-ranking officials in his administration.
Prosecutors said Shahram Poursafi, a 45-year-old Iranian national and IRGC member, attempted to pay $300,000 to an individual in the United States to kill Bolton and said he had a “second job” for $1 million.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also a target of the Iranian assassination plot, according to a federal law enforcement source familiar with the investigation and a source close to Pompeo. The “second job” was a reference to Pompeo, the source close to Pompeo said.
A known Iran policy hawk, Pompeo served as Trump’s secretary of state at the time of the airstrike that killed Soleimani. He was informed directly by the Justice Department last Wednesday that he was the second target of an IRGC assassination plot, the source close to Pompeo told CNN.
Poursafi, who has not been arrested and remains at large, originally contacted the US-based individual — who was secretly working as an FBI informant, also known as a “confidential human source,” or CHS — and asked them to take photos of Bolton “for a book that Poursafi was writing,” according to court documents.
He later asked if the informant could hire a person to “eliminate someone,” who was later revealed to be Bolton, and promised protection for the CHS and the assassin, prosecutors said. Poursafi also allegedly suggested the murder should be done “by car,” provided the CHS with an address for Bolton’s office, and noted that Bolton had a habit of taking walks alone.
In November 2021, the informant traveled to Washington, DC, and sent Poursafi photos of Bolton’s office and descriptions of the building. Poursafi allegedly said that the killing should happen in the building’s garage, as it was a “high traffic” area.
Poursafi has been charged with the use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire, which carries a 10-year maximum prison sentence, and attempting to provide material support to a transnational murder plot, which carries up to 15 years in prison.
Mohammad Reza Ansari, with the support of Shahram Poursafi (Poursafi), an Iranian national, planned and attempted to assassinate two former U.S. government officials. The Department of Justice indicted Poursafi on August 10, 2022, for providing and attempting to provide material support to a transnational murder plot. Poursafi has also been involved in IRGC-QF operational planning and surveillance operations in the Caucasus region.
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September 21, 1976
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» Added to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list maintained by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on June 1, 2023 pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended, for having acted for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the IRGC-QF;
» Wanted by the FBI – SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ARMED AND DANGEROUS;