The man accused of attempting to orchestrate a bombing that would kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States graduated from Southern University in Baton Rouge, a university spokesman said.
Manssor Arbabsiar, who was charged Tuesday with conspiring with Iranian plotters to carry out the attack, graduated from Southern with a degree in mechanical engineering technology on Aug. 3, 1984, said Edward Pratt, a Southern University spokesman.
Pratt said Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old U.S. citizen who also holds an Iranian passport, went to Southern for only a year before he graduated, having attended several other schools before transferring to the university.
Any information about Arbabsiar’s grades or discipline record could not be released because of student confidentiality laws, Pratt said.
Prosecutors on Tuesday accused Arbabsiar of taking part in an Iranian plot to hire a Mexican drug cartel to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States with a bomb attack at a restaurant in Washington.
The complaint alleges this past spring that Arbabsiar approached a DEA informant, believing he was associated with a well-known Mexican drug cartel with access to military-grade weapons and explosives and has a history of assassinations.
Justice Department officials say Arbabsiar initially asked the informant about his knowledge of plastic explosives for a plot to blow up a Saudi embassy.
Arbabsiar offered $1.5 million for the death of Ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir. He eventually wired nearly $100,000 to an account number that the informant provided, authorities said.
Arbabsiar was arrested Sept. 29 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and was ordered held without bail during his brief first court appearance Thursday afternoon. Prosecutors said he faces up to life in prison if convicted.
In addition to the charges against Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri, who authorities said was a Quds Force member and is still at large in Iran, the U.S. announced sanctions against five people, including two described as senior officials of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.