Suspect arrested after Iranian-American journalist films man outside her home

Masih Alinejad posted a video on Twitter of the individual who she claimed had intended to kill her

Masih Alinejad, an Iranian opposition campaigner and journalist in exile in New York City, was the target of an Iranian kidnapping plot. AP
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A man was arrested after he was found in possession of an assault rifle at the New York home of Iranian-American journalist and critic of the Tehran regime, Masih Alinejad.

The FBI said the suspect, Khalid Mehdiyev, was reported to have been acting suspiciously outside a house in Brooklyn on Wednesday and Thursday.

Alinejad posted a video on her Twitter feed of what appeared to be security camera images of a man outside her home.

“These are the scary scenes capturing a man who tried to enter my house in New York with a loaded gun to kill me,” she wrote.

Alinejad is one of the founders of White Wednesdays, a movement in Iran which empowers women to take photos of themselves without the hijab mandated by the government.

“My crime is giving voice to voiceless people,” she wrote.

About 66 rounds of ammunition were found in the suspect's car, along with an AK-47, an FBI document filed in Manhattan court said. He was charged with possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number and was ordered to be detained without bail by a judge.

In July last year, the US Justice Department revealed charges against four Iranian intelligence agents, who had allegedly planned to seize the dissident journalist and smuggle her to Iran.

According to the charges, the intelligence officers had first tried in 2018 to force relatives of their kidnap target to lure her to a third country to be arrested then taken to Iran.

They then moved to watch the victim and other members of her household in Brooklyn “on multiple occasions in 2020 and 2021", the Justice Department's statement said.

A fifth person, in California, was accused of financing the alleged operation.

Iran called the US charges “baseless and absurd.”

Updated: August 02, 2022, 7:02 AM