News is breaking now that senior officials of Iran's Revolutionary Guard/Quds force were attempting to orchestrate the assassination of Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubeir.
As I write this, Attorney General Eric Holder is speaking to the press -- and I am watching events from Abu Dhabi where I am attending the Global Council on Geopolitical Risk session of the World Economic Forum. Thus, my information is limited to that which I am hearing from US Department of Justice officials.
What is listed in an official complaint filed by the US government is that a bombing was allegedly planned, perhaps in a Washington, DC restaurant. The possibility that 100 to 150 people might be killed in the alleged plot was, according to FBI officials, waived off and of no concern to the Iranian interlocutor. According to statements at the news conference, $1.5 million was wired to the alleged perpetrators to finance the costs of the attack.
A couple of key things to consider as this story evolves.
First of all, Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir is not a member of the Saudi royal family but is widely considered to be the closest national security adviser and confidant to King Abdullah. Al-Jubeir is constantly flying between Riyadh and Washington and wherever the Saudi King is as the King constantly calls on him for counsel and advice -- and thus al-Jubeir is far more than just an Ambassador.