Pflugerville man is suspect in assassination plot



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Posted on October 11, 2011 at 6:08 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 12 at 6:08 PM

A chilling terror plot and plans for an assassination has ties to the Austin area.

Manssor Arbabsiar, along with another man, are in federal custody. Both are suspected in a disrupted plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States.

The plot was reportedly orchestrated in Iran. The attorney general says it is a flagrant violation of U.S. and international law, and Iran may be held accountable for their actions.

The plan also included follow-up bomb attacks on the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington D.C.

Officials say the Iranian plotters also met with people they thought were part of a Mexican drug cartel, but in fact, were government informants. 

The arrests Tuesday were the result of a three-month long investigation that began in Texas and suspicions about Arbabsiar.

In Pflugerville, neighbors say they lived next to Arbabsiar for six years.

Arbabsiar's neighbors say he is not very friendly. In fact, one neighbor describes him as "creepy."

No one came to the door when KVUE knocked, but that wasn't the case for FBI agents. They showed up Tuesday afternoon but wouldn't say why they were there.

Neighbors say Arbabsiar would never make eye contact and would never speak, at least not to them. They say he spent a lot of time talking loudly on his cell phone out in his front yard, speaking in another language.

KVUE News was also told that at least 10 people lived in the house, many of whom were in and out at all hours of the day and night.

One neighbor spoke to KVUE News, but did not want to be identified.

"We pretty much didn't get the good feeling thing, so we kind of warned the kids stay away, don't talk to them, don't do anything. 'If they talk to you, come make sure you come and tell me,'" the neighbor said.

A search of public records shows Arbabsiar is married and that he and his wife lived in the house in Pflugerville. Records also show that he listed an address on North Lamar in Austin on his driver's license. That address is an auto body shop.

Police in Corpus Christi are familiar with Arbabsiar. He was arrested there on theft charges.

Records show he had three known addresses in Corpus Christi, and it was in Corpus where FBI agents claim he hatched the foiled assassination plot.

Arbabsiar was also arrested in Williamson County in 2004 on a charge of driving with an invalid license. He later pleaded no contest to a charge of driving with a suspended license.