March 25, 2023

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DoJ announces new arrests in kidnapping plot targeting Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad

Federal prosecutors announced new arrests connected to what they call a kidnapping plot organised by the Iranian government.

The US Justice Department announced on Friday that it was bringing criminal charges against two men — Rafat Amirov and Polad Omirov — for allegedly targeting the Iranian dissident journalist Masih Alinejad for kidnapping.

Ms Alinejad, 45, was sitting in her Brooklyn home in July when she noted a man standing outside with an AK-47 rifle. She recorded a video of the man and shared it to Twitter.

The Justice Department believes she was targeted because of her public criticism of Iran’s human rights abuses, discrimination toward women, and its authoritarian government.

“The U.S. condemns the apparent attempt to harm leading Iranian activist and U.S. Citizen Masih Alinejad at her home in New York last week,” White House National Security spokesman John Kirby said at the time of the initial incident.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said that Friday’s indictments exposed a “dangerous menace to national security” in the form of a “transnational crime group” operating out of Iran.

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