A man in Brooklyn was arrested on July 25th after being found armed with a loaded AK-47-type assault rifle outside the home of Iranian journalist and women's rights activist Masih Alinejad.
Alinejad, an Iranian expatriate and women's rights advocate living in New York, has long been a target of the Islamic Republic of Iran for her criticism of the regime in Tehran.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Manhattan Federal District Court on the 29th, a man named Khalid Mehdiyev behaved suspiciously outside Alinejad's house for two days in the last week of July.
Mehdiyev was waiting outside the journalist's home in a gray Subaru Forester SUV with a license plate from Illinois and remained in the locality for some hours on Thursday morning. Throughout the time he was in the car, he ordered food to be delivered there, roamed around the outside of Alinejad’s house, trying to see through the windows, and even tried to open the front door.
Later that afternoon, after he left the place, he was pulled over by the New York City police officers after he failed to obey a stop sign. The police put the man in custody after he was found driving with a suspended license.
The officers also found a suitcase in the backseat of the car, which contained a Norinco AK-47 assault rifle with 66 rounds of ammunition attached with a separate magazine and the serial number removed. They also found around a thousand dollars in cash and two different license plates issued from states besides Illinois inside the vehicle.
The Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad, age 45, is known for her criticism of human rights abuses under the current Iranian regime, with a particular focus on the rights of women. She won several awards, including the 2015 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy women's rights award and the Omid Journalism Award from the Mehdi Semsar Foundation.
In a Twitter post, she shared the surveillance video of her door camera recording suspicious activity of Mehdiyev.
These are the scary scenes capturing a man who tried to enter my house in New York with a loaded gun to kill me.
Last year the FBI stopped the Islamic Republic from kidnapping me.
My crime is giving voice to voiceless people. The US administration must be tough on terror. pic.twitter.com/XsxlFLSlOk
— Masih Alinejad (@AlinejadMasih) July 31, 2022
Alinejad, in an interview, stated, "I'm not scared [for] my life at all because I know what I'm doing. I have only one life, and I dedicated my life to give voice to Iranian people inside Iran who bravely go to the streets — face guns and bullets to protest against the Iranian regime — but this is happening in America."
Alinejad believes that the man is connected to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Alinejad directs her anger at the regime, telling them "go to hell."
In 2014, Alinejad created a Facebook page called "My Stealthy Freedom" (a.k.a. "Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women"), which urges the women of Iran to post images of themselves without hijab. This initiative has received global and national coverage and has been criticized by the leaders of the Iranian regime.
Two years ago, she wrote that the Iranian officials had started a social media campaign that called for her abduction from the United States. The US Department of Justice claimed that in July last year, four Iranian intelligence agents were charged with conspiring to plot the kidnapping of the journalist and forcefully send her back to Iran.