Armed man lurked close to Iranian dissident’s house

NEW YORK (AP) — Masih Alinejad, an Iranian opposition activist and author in exile in New York Metropolis, had already been recognized because the goal of an alleged kidnapping plot. A 12 months later, it seems the threats towards her maintain coming.

Federal prosecutors in New York charged a person final week with driving round Masih’s Brooklyn neighborhood over the weekend with a loaded assault rifle and dozens of rounds of ammunition. Alinejad stated Monday that authorities instructed her the person was on the lookout for her, and {that a} house safety video had caught him skulking outdoors her entrance door.

“It’s stunning that somebody got here to my home with a loaded assault rifle,” Alinejad instructed The Related Press in an e-mail. “Final 12 months, the FBI foiled a kidnap plot. Now a killer is dispatched to cope with me.”

The suspect, Khalid Mehdiyev, has been locked up with out bail and his lawyer declined remark. The U.S. Lawyer’s workplace additionally wouldn’t speak concerning the case past what for now could be a gun possession cost.

Final 12 months, U.S. prosecutors charged an Iranian intelligence officer and others with plotting to kidnap Alinejad and take her again to Tehran. Iranian officers referred to as accusations “baseless and ridiculous.”

Alinejad, who labored for years as a journalist in Iran and have become a U.S. citizen in 2019, has lengthy been focused by its theocracy after fleeing the nation following its disputed 2009 presidential election and crackdown. She’s often known as a distinguished determine on Farsi-language satellite tv for pc channels overseas that criticize Iran.

Within the new case, a prison grievance filed towards Mehdiyev doesn’t straight tie him to Iran or the kidnapping plot. As a substitute, it solely costs him with a gun violation based mostly on a site visitors cease by the New York Police Division, but additionally cites what they are saying had been his contradictory statements about his conduct that implicate him in a extra critical manner.

The grievance says Mehdiyev was seen lurking close to Alinejad’s house final week and, after ordering meals supply to his automobile, approached the residence and appeared in by the home windows and tried to open the entrance door. A short while later, law enforcement officials pulled him over and arrested him for driving with a suspended license.

A later search of the automobile discovered a suitcase containing a rifle “loaded with a spherical within the chamber and {a magazine} connected, together with a separate second journal, and a complete of roughly 66 rounds of ammunition,” the papers say, including, ”The serial variety of the rifle seems to have been obliterated.”

Initially, Mehdiyev claimed he was within the neighborhood on the lookout for a room to lease, the papers say, and that he had borrowed the automobile he was driving and didn’t know concerning the gun. He later admitted the gun was his and that he had been within the space “on the lookout for somebody,” they add.

At that time, he stopped speaking and requested for a lawyer.

In her e-mail, Alinejad stated her scenario exhibits the necessity for the U.S. authorities to take a harder stance towards Iran.

“What occurred this weekend is NOT regular and doesn’t simply have an effect on simply me,” she wrote. “This poses a threat to EVERYONE. This isn’t habits that anybody in america ought to be accepting as regular.”