WASHINGTON -- A new investigative magazine said Wednesday an Iranian guerrilla organization sent John Hinckley to kill President Reagan and a disaffected member of the group had warned the Secret Service of a plot months before Reagan was shot.
The Investigative Reporter said in its first issue that Hinckley's alleged story that he shot Reagan March 30 to impress a teenage actress was a ruse to cover his ties to the Islamic Guerrilla Army.
The magazine, edited and published by columnist Jack Anderson, also claimed the guerrillas sent a second gunman to kill the president.
An FBI spokesman, citing a gag order on the Hinckley case, said he had no comment on thearticle but he laughed when the article's premise was told to him.
The article, 'Who is Trying to Kill President Reagan,' said the informant told authorities that the gunman charged with the mission was code-named Hicks and was Hinckley.
The authors, Charles Bermant and Corky Johnson, said the informant, identified only by the alias Tony Rollini, had worked first for the Palestine Liberation Organization and then for Islamic Guerrilla Army but broke with the Islamic guerrillas when he learned they were after the president.
Rollini told the Secret Service two months before the attempted assassination of the president -- in which Reagan, press secretary James Brady, a Secret Service agent and a policeman were injured -- that 'Hicks' had been arrested for illegal firearms possession in Nashville and would try to kill the president, the article said.
A second gunman, known as 'Brother Yussef,' also was sent to kill the president, it said.
The Islamic Guerrilla Army is the same group suspected in the murder of a former press aide to the Iranian Embassy, Ali Akbar Tabatabai, outside his suburban Maryland home on July 22, 1980.
The article said the FBI and Secret Service still are investigating Rollini's story, but that a '50-page Secret Service report makes it clear that Rollini knew in advance' of the assassination attempt.
It said the Iranian Embassy in Washington know of the plot and had ordered Reagan's death as an enemy of the Iranian revolution even before he was elected president. The article said a previous Iranian plan to kill Reagan was foiled.