BROOKLYN, N.Y. (PIX11) — One year after Masih Alinejad, an Iranian dissident journalist, was the target of a kidnapping plot in New York City, she said authorities told her a man was lurking around her Brooklyn home last week where he had an assault rifle in his possession.
Video captured from her porch shows the man, identified as Khalid Mehdiyev, snooping around her front door. Authorities said the 23-year-old was behaving suspiciously for days around Alinejad’s home. He was parked outside with a loaded AK-47 and 66 rounds of ammunition in his car.
Before this terrifying incident, Alinejad thought she was out of harm’s way.
“Last year when we spoke together, it was the kidnapping plot and I was like, ‘Finally, the FBI stopped the kidnapping plot,’” she said. “‘I’m going to be safe.’”
It’s been one year since the FBI intercepted her kidnapping which officials say was attempted by Iranian nationals.
After trying to open her front door, the federal complaint said Mehdiyev Alinejad got in the car and drove away. He was stopped by NYPD officers for rolling through a stop sign. They arrested him when they found he was driving without a license and that it had been suspended.
They also found a suitcase in the back seat with the loaded assault rifle which had an obliterated serial number. Alinejad believed Mehdiyev was sent by the Iranian regime and is furious at what she said is inaction from the White House.
“Here?! On U.S. soil again?!” Alinejad said. “So it has been twice. It shows you that if the American government took strong action [the] previous time, not just going after [the] nuclear deal, it wouldn’t have happened, but when [the] Iranian regime [sees] that they don’t get any consequence— they’re not being punished, of course they feel more self-confident to [threaten] an Iranian-American citizen on U.S. soil. This is a shame.”
Alinejad is an outspoken activist who did not minimize her voice after last year’s incident and will continue speaking out against the Iranian regime.
“Go to hell!” Alinejad said directed to the regime. “You want to intimidate me? You want to scare me? You want to stop me giving [a] voice to voiceless people? That’s not going to happen.”
Empowering Iranian women from thousands of miles away to remove their compulsory headscarf on the streets of Iran, she started the movement #No2Hijab and #WhiteWednesdays where women wear white headscarves and take them off in public.
She said her crime is being a woman and that the regime looks at her as a threat.
“They hate my hair,” Alinejad said. “They hate my body. They hate my identity. The Islamic Republic is anti-woman.”
Iranian women like Sepideh Rashno have been arrested in Iran as a result of the movement, but Alinejad says she is Rashno’s voice now.
“The regime is failed,” Alinejad said. “They make us more powerful. We are going to get more united and louder.”
Mehdiyev is being held without bail and is facing gun possession charges.