Feds – NBC New York

Federal authorities are investigating whether a man arrested with a loaded assault rifle outside the Brooklyn home of an outspoken Iranian dissident was part of a plot to target or kill her, two officials said of law enforcement.

Police arrested a Yonkers man – Khalid Mehdiyev – on Thursday with an AK-47 type weapon and 66 rounds near the home of Masih Alinejad.

Alinejad is a well-known Iranian writer and dissident who was the alleged target of a kidnapping plot by Iranian agents last year, the FBI said. Iran has denied wrongdoing, calling past abduction allegations “baseless”.

The FBI and NYPD are now investigating why Mehdiyev, 23, was seen near her home last week. Investigators said he was seen walking around Alinejad’s property several days last week and at least once tried to walk through her front door. She wasn’t home at the time.

Suspected of a possible plot to assassinate an Iranian dissident identified by senior law enforcement officials in doorbell camera footage.

Suspected of a possible plot to assassinate an Iranian dissident identified by senior law enforcement officials in doorbell camera footage.

“Shocked to hear that an assassin with a loaded AK47 came to my house in Brooklyn,” she said. tweeted Sunday. “Last year the Islamic Republic tried to kidnap me, now they want to kill me. I’m grateful to the federal agents, but the administration needs to do more to protect American citizens.

According to a complaint filed Friday night by federal prosecutors for the Southern District of New York, Mehdiyev allegedly admitted the assault weapon was his, then asked for an attorney, after first claiming he had traveled from Yonkers. in Brooklyn looking for an apartment.

The Subaru used by Mehdiyev had Illinois plates and had been ticketed for parking near the Brooklyn residence the previous week, court documents show.

Mehdiyev was arrested around 3 p.m. by the NYPD at the corner of Dorchester Road and Rugby Road after driving through a stop sign, an NYPD spokesperson said.

He allegedly drove with a suspended license and police said they later found a loaded AK-47 in the back seat. Prosecutors said the weapon’s serial numbers had been erased.

Mehdiyev is charged with a federal weapons count. The FBI and NYPD are investigating whether he was watching Alinejad’s house and acting alone.

An Iranian intelligence officer and three members of an Iranian intelligence network have been charged in Manhattan with conspiring to lure an American resident and human rights activist from New York to Iran. Reporting by Jonathan Dienst of NBC New York.

In July 2021, the FBI said it uncovered an Iranian kidnapping plot targeting Alinejad – supposedly to take her from her home, transport her to South America, and then bring her back to Iran. Alinajed was moved to shelters during the investigation for her protection, officials said at the time.

Alinejad is widely followed on social media due to her outspoken criticism of the Iranian regime, particularly on the issue of women’s rights.

An FBI spokeswoman confirmed Mehdiyev’s arrest but referred questions to an SDNY spokesperson, who late Saturday had no further comment beyond the details included in the criminal complaint.

Attempts to reach Mehdiyev’s lawyer were not immediately successful.

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