Third Iranian Murder-for-Hire Plot Busted on US Soil Since 2022

Third Iranian Murder-for-Hire Plot Busted on US Soil Since 2022

( – The federal government is charging two Canadians and an Iranian native — one of whom was part of the motorcycle gang Hells Angels — after they allegedly plotted to kill a defector from Iran.

The indictment was publicized by a federal court based in Minnesota. It marks the third known occasion that an assassination plot from Iran has been attempted on American soil. However, Iran’s government has not been formally accused of playing a role in the plot. The suspects were allegedly targeting an individual living in Maryland.

The United States is imposing sanctions against Naji Sharifi Zindashti, the alleged conspirator. They said Zindashti already has a reputation for trafficking drugs and plotting against defectors from Iran. Much of his work has been covered by Iran’s government.

The indictment also says that Zindashti worked with another source in Iran, who was not named. It specified two targets in Maryland as well. While no names are mentioned, the other victim does not appear to have been an Iranian defector.

Investigators used Zindashti’s messages sent over the encrypted service SyECC to identify Damion Ryan, who joined a Hells Angel charter in Canada, to discuss the assassination plot. Ryan was tasked with forming a team of assassins. He recruited Adam Pearson, an illegal immigrant from Canada living in Minnesota with a fake identity.

The two men used the secure messaging app to discuss transportation for their team and the manner of the assassination. They ultimately decided to shoot them in their heads. They also discussed using several bullets for each victim to ensure they were killed. Zindashti agreed to pay a total of $370,000 for the assassination.

Details have not been released on how the government foiled the assassination attempt. However, both Canadian men are facing federal charges, although they are currently jailed in Canada for different charges. Zindashti’s exact location is unknown, although he is believed to be somewhere in Iran.

Zindashti has been plotting transnational murders in the US since at least 2020. He is currently listed on the FBI’s Wanted List.

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