A covert attempt to stage a retaliatory assassination? Or just a case of Florida-By-Way-Of-Tehran Man? I know which way I’m betting, but the Secret Service gets paid to not place bets or take chances:
Police in Palm Beach, Florida, arrested an Iranian man carrying weapons and cash not far from President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort on Friday. The man, an Iranian national identified as Masoud Yareilzoleh, was arrested after Palm Beach police received a call about a suspicious person.
When they caught up to the man, they said he had a machete, pickax and two knives along with $22,000 in cash. Police also searched a car associated with Yareilzoleh at Palm Beach International Airport.
The arrest happened near the Flagler Memorial Bridge, about four miles from the president’s Mar-a-Lago, although Mr. Trump was not there at the time.
Other reports note that Yareilzoleh has legal residence in the US, so he’s not a visitor, but … this seems very strange. He had a ton of cash on him, but he was sleeping in a gazebo in a public park. He has legal status in the US, but he’s got a car parked at the airport while he’s sleeping under a bridge. And let’s not forget about walking around with a machete and other weapons, too, which isn’t exactly de rigueur in the US, no matter what the media might think.
Although if I was planning to camp out in a public park with $22,000 in my pocket, maybe I’d carry a machete around with me too. Or, alternately, maybe I’d find a Motel 6 or even splurge on a Residence Inn. Or, hey, maybe a room at Mar-A-Lago! Maybe I’d only have $21,000 after that, but at least I’d get a shower and bed with a roof over it.
So yeah, this looks very suspicious. However, what are the odds that the Iranians sent Mr. Sleep-In-Gazebo for a covert mission to take out the president? One would assume that such operatives would take steps to blend in a bit with their surroundings, rather than scare the normals by sacking out in a public park. They would send a team, keep the cash hidden, and know to get themselves a room, although not at Mar-A-Lago. Those are the kinds of threats that the Secret Service must be working overtime to prevent and/or uncover.
The feds are checking into Yareilzoleh, of course, at least for due diligence. The local police don’t think this is a national-security case:
Officer Michael Ogrodnick told the outlet the man had a car parked at Palm Beach International Airport and that federal authorities were collaborating in an investigation. …
Yareilzoleh was in the country legally and did not pose a national threat, the officer said, though an investigation is ongoing.
“This is not a national security threat–absolutely not,” Ogrodnick said.
Is this just a case of mental illness, unrelated to Trump at all? Perhaps, but that seems very coincidental, especially with the cash, the car at the airport, and the proximity to Trump’s Florida resort. Not too many mentally-ill homeless walk around with twenty-two large in cash, at least not for long, nor do they have cars parked at the airport. Perhaps this is a lone-wolf case, or maybe he had something else entirely in mind. It seems pretty far-fetched as a master-plan plot, but it seems a bit premature to write the threat off entirely.