Friends of Manssor Arbabsiar, the man accused of trying to get a man he thought was affiliated with a Mexican drug cartel to arrange for the killing of the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S., aren’t exactly painting a picture of a criminal mastermind. In fact, they’re saying he’s not straight out.
“He’s no mastermind,” David Tomscha, who once owned a used car lot with Arbabsiar, told the Associated Press. “I can’t imagine him thinking up a plan like that. I mean, he didn’t seem all that political. He was more of a businessman.”
“His socks would not match,” Tom Hosseini, his former college roommate, told the New York Times. “He was always losing his keys and his cellphone. He was not capable of carrying out this plan.”
Friends told the Times that Arbabsiar smoked marijuana and drank alcohol freely and had a string of businesses, “selling horses, ice cream, used cars and gyro sandwiches,” leaving a “trail of liens, business-related lawsuits and angry creditors” in his wake.
“He was a happy go lucky guy, always joked around,” another friend told CNN. “He had a really happy demeanor.”
The friend added that Arbabsiar “would go out and party,” and as far as he knew “never practiced religion.” Another friend said he often misplaced paperwork and car keys.
Arbabsiar’s wife, Martha Guerrero, told reporters that she and her husband “have not been living together for such a long time” and that she doesn’t know anything “about his business or what he does or what he doesn’t do.”
Local news reports also say Arbabsiar had the nickname “scarface” because he sustained an injury in a fight over a woman in the 80s.
An additional oddity: Arbabsiar pleaded not guilty even after he allegedly offered a full typewritten confession to his role in the plot after agents advised him of his Miranda rights.