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Ali Akbar Tabatabai

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Title: Ali Akbar Tabatabai  
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Subject: Dawud Salahuddin, List of incidents of political violence in Washington, D.C.
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Ali Akbar Tabatabai

Ali Akbar Tabatabaei
Born 4 September 1930
Died 22 July 1980 (aged 49)
Bethesda, Maryland
Nationality Iranian
Religion Islam

Ali Akbar Tabatabaei (4 September 1930 – 22 July 1980) was an Iranian exile and former press attache to the Iranian embassy in the United States who became president of the Iran Freedom Foundation in Bethesda, Maryland after the Iranian Revolution. He was killed at his front door by a Muslim convert associated with an Iranian militant group in the last successful Iranian assassination plot on US soil. [1]

Early life

Tabatabei was born in Hamedan on 4 September 1930.


Tabatabaei served as press attaché in Iran's embassy in the United States during the reign of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.[2]


A critic of Ruhollah Khomeini, Tabatabaei was shot in his Bethesda, Maryland home by Dawud Salahuddin, an American Muslim convert on 22 July 1980.[3] Salahuddin disguised himself as a mailman with a borrowed mail truck.[4]

Salahuddin stated he was paid $5000 by Iranians to kill Tabatabaei. He is currently on the FBI fugitives list. He escaped to Iran via Paris and Geneva, reaching Tehran on 31 July 1980.[3] In a 1996 interview with ABC's 20/20, Salahuddin also confessed to killing Tabatabaei.[5] He further stated that he thought the killing was "an act of war".[3] In 2009, it was discovered that Salahuddin had been using a new name, Hassan Abdulrahman, and that he had been running the website of Press TV.[4]

David Belfield, known as Daoud, set up two members of the Muslim community in DC to take the fall for the Tabatabai assassination. These two accused had no significant role in the murder and had no prior criminal records. They were both convicted in a highly publicized show trial that treated them as dangerous terrorists and they served time. The postal employee who provided the post office uniform and vehicle to Belfield, gratuitously walked into a police station to provide a confession that led to one of the two patsies. This Belfield accomplice did no time.

Another admitted Belfield associate and possible accomplice, Isa Abdulla Ali, later surfaced in Bosnia where his possible connection to US intelligence was suggested in the documentary, “American Jihadist” (Mark Claywell and Jody Jenkins, 2010)

Barcelona five days after the Tabitabai assassination to convince Iran that they could get a better deal from the US if Iran would hold the American diplomatic hostages until Reagan is elected and sworn in as President.

Also see

  • Tom Clements (public official) Colorado prisons official shot at his front door by gunman posing as pizza delivery man


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