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What Overwatch Discovered About the Two Men Arrested for Impersonating Federal Agents

On April 7, 2022, the FBI arrested Arian Taherzadeh and Haider Ali, for impersonating Federal agents. According to the authorities, Taherzadeh and Ali posed as officers of the Department of Homeland Security and developed relationships with United States Secret Service members. Taherzadeh, 40, and Ali, 35, offered rent-free apartments, gifts, and firearms to the Secret Service agents.

According to reports, the FBI discovered a large repository of body armor, gas masks, multiple weapons, surveillance equipment, a currency counter, and a fingerprint kit at Taherzadeh and Ali’s residence. Taherzadeh illegally obtained the weapons he carried. A domestic violence charge from 2013 meant he was forbidden from having a firearm or ammunition in his possession.

As a result of the arrest, four Secret Service agents have been placed on administrative leave. According to prosecutors, Taherzadeh and Ali “compromised” Secret Service agents who had access to First Lady Jill Biden and the White House.

Overwatch performed deep-dive research into Taherzadeh and Ali for this brief. Our research identified Taherzadeh’s social media presence and activity which indicated a high-risk individual pretending to be a federal law enforcement officer online. Additionally, we located Ali’s business interests and researched his overseas travel.

Arian Taherzadeh and the United States Special Police

Taherzadeh is from Kansas City, Missouri. KCTV 5 reported court records returning results for “a man named Arian Taherzadeh who was born in 1981, and a long list of traffic offenses and lawsuits that placed him living at various Platte County addresses from 1999 to 2007.”

In 2006, Taherzadeh registered a business, On Point Productions, LLC, with Missouri’s Secretary of State.

We found no digital footprint for On Point Productions, LLC, until 2019. In 2019, Taherzadeh changed the name of On Point Productions to the US Special Police, LLC.

In March 2019, the International Association of Chiefs of Police listed Taherzadeh as a Special Agent with the U.S. Special Police in the District of Columbia.

Taherzadeh’s LinkedIn account, recently removed from the site, shows him employed by the Department of Homeland Security from 2006 – Present.

In May 2018, Taherzadeh set up another law enforcement-themed entity, USSP, LLC, which stands for United States Special Police. USSP, LLC, is incorporated in the District of Columbia, with a registered address of 1629 K St. NW #300, or about half a mile from the White House.

A LinkedIn profile for USSP was also recently removed. The LinkedIn profile claims USSP has 15 employees and provides “specialized services and operational support” to the intelligence community, defense sector, and law enforcement agencies.

The website for USSP is non-functional, leading to “file not found” messages when clicking links.

Taherzadeh’s Social Media Profiles

Taherzadeh had a significant social media presence with accounts on many different platforms. We focused on the most relevant social media profiles for Taherzadeh for this article, which included profiles identified on Quora, Facebook, and FS6. Additionally, for the United States Special Police, our focus was on Facebook, Yelp, and Crunchbase, which provided the most data about the entity.

Quora

Taherzadeh made inquiries on his Quora account under the name Ari Taherzadeh about the weapons US Secret Service, FBI agents, and CIA Case Officers use. The example below, from two years ago, shows that Taherzadeh wrote, “What handgun does Secret Service carry?”

Facebook

Taherzadeh’s Facebook account is under the username “Ari Eugene,” his middle name. All Taherzadeh’s Facebook posts are about donating money to police fundraisers.

Image/Research Credit: Chris Brenner

We also found a photo of Taherzadeh on a relative’s Facebook account, which will not be identified in this article.

In addition, USSP has a Facebook profile, which contains many law-enforcement themed articles. Most of the articles are reshares from the Police1 Facebook page, a legitimate law enforcement agency resource.

FS6

FS6 is a social media forum specific to entrepreneurs. Taherzadeh’s FS6 account lists him as working for a Special Investigations Unit in Washington, DC. The Special Investigations Unit is another name Taherzadeh uses for the U.S. Special Police.

Yelp

On the United States Special Police Yelp page, the company claims to have specialties in “Special Investigations, SWAT, Special Operations, Patrol and Specialized Security Solutions.”

Crunchbase

United States Special Police also has a profile on Crunchbase, a business database. The Crunchbase account shows the entity has 11-50 employees.

Queries on Google Images for USSP Police helped analysts see what the content from the ussp.us website looked like before its removal. The content is police-themed, similar to the material Taherzadeh posted on social media.

Additional research into Taherzadeh shows that he had three addresses listed under the same phone number.

The phone number correlates with a business established by Taherzadeh, AET Holdings Corp, dissolved in September 2019. Research into AET Holdings Corp suggests it had no affiliation with Taherzadeh’s history of impersonating law enforcement.

Haider Ali and US Limo World

Haider Ali is a Pakistani national. Ali’s first digital footprint is his filing for US Limo World, Inc., which he registered in Virginia in May 2016.

US Limo World’s website is no longer active, but our use of the Wayback Machine, an Internet archive database, returned website reviews for the business that did not correlate with how long the business had been in existence.

In the example below, a 2019 review from Walter Aztezana claims he has used US Limo World for five years. This was false; the business wasn’t registered until 2016. Before 2019, the website featured obviously false reviews, for example, reviews from someone named John Doe that worked at Coca-Cola.

US Limo World had its entity status revoked in 2018.

US Limo World’s Social Media Profiles

US Limo World has a social media presence on Yelp, Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter.

Yelp

There is only one review for US Limo World on Yelp. The review reads, “DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY. UNRELIABLE AND SHADY. We had a reservation for a pickup this morning at 10:45 am to take us to a winery for a friends bday. If you value your plans, use another company. Received a confirmation email with a confirmation number. When a driver did not show up, we called and were told they had no record of our reservation. They refused to send another bus, and denied that they ever sent the email, despite our repeated offers to forward it to them as proof. Individual on the phone was rude and condescending.”

Flickr

We identified a Flickr profile for Ali. Ali has several photos of luxury vehicles on the Flickr account, including Mercedes and Lincolns.

The Facebook and Twitter pages for US Limo World provided no meaningful information. While Ali and Taherzadeh are Facebook friends, no other public information was available from Ali’s Facebook page. In addition, Ali does have a Facebook profile with minimal activity.

Evidence of Ali’s International Travel

Laura Rozen, a reporter with an extensive background in foreign policy and national security issues, tweeted that Ali had gone on a “Shia pilgrimage to Najaf, Iraq in May 2019 and Mashhad, Iran in ~August & ~October 2019.” The picture below comes from Bruce Leshan, a reporter at WUSA9.

The blue stamp on the passport in the above photo matches the stamp used at Mashhad International Airport in Iran, shown below, according to Wikimedia commons.

Prosecutors claimed that Ali said he had ties to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), but those claims have not been verified.

Other Research

Washington, DC, does have special police officers (SPOs) that work together with law enforcement. According to CNBC, “Taherzadeh applied to be an armed special police officer or SPO and was denied in March 2019, due to his prior misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence. Taherzadeh was later permitted to obtain a commission as an unarmed SPO, but that expired when he did not provide documents supporting relicensing in December 2021.”

It’s unclear who tipped off Taherzadeh and Ali that there was a pending investigation against them. However, investigators said that they found UPS shipping labels when searching the residence where Taherzadeh and Ali stayed, showing that they were trying to ship away evidence and conceal it.

OUR ASSESSMENT

Taherzadeh’s social media activity indicates that he spent significant time building up a police persona to sell himself as legitimate member of law enforcement. Had Taherzadeh’s targets performed due diligence before engaging with him, for example, by reviewing his professional history, online presence, and criminal record, he might have been identified as a high-risk individual before gaining access to United States Secret Service agents.

Additionally, the large repository of resources and technology that Taherzadeh and Ali had access to warrant significant concern; we currently have no information about how they could have afforded such a surplus of law enforcement-centric gear.

The fake reviews on Ali’s US Limo World website and the poor review on Yelp suggest that Ali has some history of fraud; however, we couldn’t identify any additional evidence of international travel or potential ties to foreign intelligence.

There are no clear indicators of their motives to impersonate Federal agents and/or if they intended to seek access to the first family.

Due to the level of access Taherzadeh and Ali obtained with the United States Secret Service, Federal agencies will likely develop new security measures for their employees to help prevent any similar incidents. Exercising due diligence before developing business relationships can help mitigate risk to prevent fraud and other security-related issues.

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