If the name Masih Alinejad sounds at all familiar, it’s because the political dissident was previously the target of an Iranian kidnapping plot.
Iranian American journalist Masih Alinejad says she is the target of an alleged kidnapping plot that was foiled by the FBI and recently laid out in a federal indictment.
The indictment – which doesn’t name Alinejad — says Iranian intelligence agents spied on her New York City home, tried to pay her family to lure her out of the country and even researched speedboats and maritime routes to slip her out.
Alinejad fled Iran in 2009 and now reports on Iranian human rights abuses.
“It’s just obvious that they were going to execute me,” Alinejad tells NPR’s Morning Edition. “They announced that several times.”
That was last July. This July there seems to have been another surprise.
A man armed with a loaded AK-47 was arrested on Thursday outside of the Brooklyn home of Iranian dissident journalist Masih Alinejad, according to sources and charging documents.
Khalid Mehdiyev, 23, was found with the assault rifle, a high-capacity magazine and more than $1,000 worth of cash when he was arrested after lurking for two days, according to a federal complaint.
NYPD officers stopped Mehdiyev on Thursday after he rolled through a stop sign. Cops found he was driving without a license and he was placed under arrest.
They’re not sending their best.
Police later searched his vehicle and found the loaded AK-47 with multiple magazines, additional rounds of ammunition and a suitcase full of cash. Two other different license plates were also found.
Mehdiyev told police he had been staying in Yonkers, but the rent was too high there and he was looking for a new place to live in the Brooklyn neighborhood. He said he had tried to open the front door of the residence so he could knock on an inside door to ask if he could rent a room.
He initially told officers he had borrowed the car and he didn’t know anything about the gun and said the suitcase was not his.
Later, he confessed that the gun was his and he had been in Brooklyn “because he was looking for someone,” according to the complaint.
There’s not much in the way of details about Mehdiyev, but based on his name, he appears to be Azerbaijani. While Azerbaijan is not especially religious, it is mostly Shiite Muslim and so a potentially good recruiting ground for Iran.
Mehdiyev seemed to have an operation going with a vehicle with Illinois plates, erased serial numbers on his weapons, and different license plates, but it was movie stuff. With all of that prep, he didn’t seem to think that either Alinejad or the authorities might notice a guy hanging around for two days.
Obviously none of this will stop Biden from continuing to appease Iran, or from Iran getting the backing of the D.C. crowd and a few key billionaires.