Suspect was ‘no mastermind’, declares former business partner

A FRIEND of the former Texas-based used car dealer accused of plotting to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US said he never thought of his former business partner as politically motivated, much less a potential terrorist.

Manssor Arbabsiar was known as “Jack” because American friends found his name difficult to pronounce, said David Tomscha, who briefly owned a second-hand car dealership with him in Corpus Christi. Mr Tomscha said Arbabsiar was likeable, but rather lazy. Mr Tomscha added: “He’s no mastermind. 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.”

Mr Tomscha, 60, said their partnership ended after about six months in the Nineties. He added: “He was sort of a hustler. I think he made some money.”

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After living for years in Corpus Christi, Arbabsiar followed his wife to the Austin area. The house there is owned by Arbabsiar’s wife, Martha Guerrero but she claimed they had separated. Others in the neighbourhood said they had seen him recently. A neighbour said he often saw Arbabsiar walking after dark, smoking and talking on a mobile in a foreign language.