BROWNSVILLE - The State Department has issued a travel alert for all Americans abroad after federal investigators claimed the Iranian government was behind a plot to assassinate Saudi Ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir. The claim, if correct, would be a flagrant violation of U.S. and International Law.
“We have another nation’s state that is plotting an attack on American soil,” says Professor Jeffrey Addicott of St. Mary’s Law School. “This is an attack on the United States even though the targets are Saudi's because you would have killed U.S. citizens.”
Addicott, who specializes in Terrorism Law, says the repercussions of the alleged plot could be severe.
“You would have had another nation's state killing Americans on our soil, which would be an act of war.”
Leaders from the Department of Justice say Manssor Arbabsiar and his cousin Golam Shakuri are the two men directly linked to the alleged plot. Arbabsiar, currently under federal custody, is accused of working with members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Core to devise an international murder for hire scheme targeting the Saudi Ambassador. Addicott has been disappointed with the Department of Justice’s handling of the situation thus far.
“Our Department of Defense said yesterday that we would not use military response,” says Addicott. “I think that is tragic because we are telling people ahead of time that we are limiting our options.”
According to FBI reports, Arbabsiar and Shakuri were set to spend $1.5 million to hire what they believed was a Mexican drug cartel “hit squad” to kill the ambassador. Addicott says the relationship between Iranian terrorists and Mexican cartels may be cause for future concern.
“The ultimate fear is that a weapon of mass destruction might be brought in with the assistance of the cartels,” says Addicott.
The professor urges swift action to prevent such happenings.
“The time to stop them is before they get atomic weapons,” says Addicott. “The clock is ticking very rapidly.”
American intelligence agents are grappling with several unanswered questions. Was the alleged plot hatched by Iran’s central government or by a rouge arm of the Iranian military? What was the ultimate motive driving the devised scheme? And could there be, or is there already, an alliance between Iran and Mexican drug cartels?