Argentine media reported on Monday that the Iranian couple arrested there last Saturday held four forged passports – two for departing from Spain and two to enter Argentina.
The investigation has raised a number of puzzling details about the conduct of the two, who are being interrogated on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activity. According to local media, the two changed three hotels in three days. The investigators also found that the detainees made a local phone call for 85 seconds – despite the fact that they do not speak Spanish.
The two, Sajad Samiel Nasran, 27, and Masura Sabazali, 30, arrived from Spain to Argentina on an Air Europe flight. Their passports identified them as Netanel and Rivka Toledano, which aroused airport police suspicion, since an Israeli embassy attaché is named Toledano.
The forgery was very sloppy: instead of the letter ר (R) in the name of the State of Israel, the letter ך (chaf sofit) was written. The letter is called “final chaf” because it only appears as the last letter of a word, replacing the letter כ which appears only in the beginning and middle of words.
The two were arrested in their hotel room, by an order by a federal judge following a counterterrorism unit operation. They remain in custody and have been interrogated by a judge and a prosecutor. Neither of them speaks Spanish, and police are trying to locate a Farsi translator.
We consulted a website called Looking for Iranian Expats in Argentina? And discovered a whole bunch of Farsi speakers. Somebody, call the Buenos Aires cops.
Upon their arrest, the two said they were Iranian citizens who had fled their country through Turkey and Greece, and managed to reach Spain. They provided little additional information to the interrogators, who are analyzing the suspects’ personal computer and telephones.
One of their phones is a locked iPhone which are difficult to get into.
Argentine authorities have raised the level of national alert following this affair. At least until they crack the iPhone.