New York

Prosecutor: Armed man lurked near Iranian dissident’s home

Masi AlinejadIranian opposition activist and writer in exile New York City had already been identified as a target for a kidnapping plot. A year later, the threats against her seem to continue.

New York federal prosecutors charged a man with driving around Masih’s last week brooklyn I walked around the neighborhood over the weekend with a loaded assault rifle and dozens of rounds of ammunition. Alinejad said Monday that authorities told her a man was looking for her and that her home security video found him sneaking outside her front door.

“It’s shocking that someone came to my house with an assault rifle,” Alinejad told The Associated Press in an email. FBI thwarted the kidnapping plot. A killer is being sent to deal with me now. ”

Suspect Khalid Mehdiyev is being held without bail and his attorney declined to comment. The federal prosecutor’s office also has no intention of speaking about the case beyond gun possession charges at this time.

Last year, US prosecutors charged Iranian intelligence officers and others with conspiring to kidnap Alinejad and bring him back to Tehran. Iranian officials called the accusations “baseless and ridiculous.”

Alinejad, who worked for years as a journalist in Iran and became a US citizen in 2019, has long been targeted by the theocracy after fleeing the country after the 2009 presidential election and a contested crackdown. She is known as a prominent figure on Persian-language satellite channels abroad criticizing Iran.

In the new case, the criminal complaint filed against Mehdiyev does not directly link him to Iran or the kidnapping plot. Instead, they not only charge him with a gun violation based on a traffic stop by the New York Police Department, but also citing what they say his contradictory statements about his behavior got him more seriously involved. increase.

According to the complaint, Mehdiyev was seen lurking near Alinejad’s house last week, and after ordering food delivered to his car, Mehdiyev approached the house, peered in through the window and opened the front door. I tried to open it. Moments later, police officers stopped him and arrested him for driving with his license suspended.

A search of the vehicle later found a suitcase containing a rifle. “The chamber was fitted with bullets and magazines, and contained a separate second magazine and a total of about 66 rounds of ammunition,” the newspaper added. The rifle’s serial number appears to have been removed. ”

Initially, Mehdiyev was looking for a room to rent in the neighborhood, claiming he didn’t know about the gun because he rented the car he was driving. He later admitted that the gun was his and had been in the area “looking for someone,” they added.

At that point he stopped speaking and sought a lawyer.

Alinejad said in an email that her situation shows that the US government needs to take a tougher stance on Iran.

“What happened this weekend was unusual and doesn’t just affect me,” she wrote. It is not an action that should be accepted as

Prosecutor: Armed man lurked near Iranian dissident’s home

Source link Prosecutor: Armed man lurked near Iranian dissident’s home

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