Alinejad said she was home Thursday when federal agents informed her of the existence of the armed individual.
“The FBI told me to ‘stay away from home,'” Alinejad told CNN by phone on Sunday. “I was in shock. I couldn’t even believe it. I was like, ‘If I opened the door, what was I going to do?'”
NYPD officers arrested Khalid Mehdiyev on Thursday afternoon as he drove away from the Brooklyn neighborhood after failing to stop at a stop sign, according to a federal criminal complaint obtained by CNN. He also said NYPD officers discovered he was driving without a valid license. Law enforcement officials then found a suitcase in the backseat of his vehicle containing a loaded AK-47 type assault rifle with a cartridge in the chamber, an additional second magazine and $1,100 in cash. of $100, according to the complaint.
He is charged with possession of a firearm with an erased serial number. Mehdiyev is expected to be back in court on August 12. CNN reached out to his attorney, Stephanie Marie Carvlin, for comment, but did not hear back.
Law enforcement officials say they saw Yonkers resident Mehdiyev in the Brooklyn borough twice last week, Wednesday and Thursday, and also discovered he had received a parking ticket in the same neighborhood the previous weekend, July 23. according to the complaint.
On Thursday morning, Mehdiyev drove a gray Subaru Forester SUV with Illinois license plates and remained in the area for several hours where he “behaved suspiciously,” the complaint states. On one occasion, Mehdiyev got in and out of his car several times, ordered a food delivery service in his car and approached a house in the neighborhood – where Alinejad lives – looking inside the windows. and trying to open the front door, according to the complaint.
Alinejad says she was on a Zoom call with Human Rights Foundation President Garry Kasparov and Venezuelan politician and opposition leader Leopoldo López when she discovered the armed individual.
The activist shared a security video on her official Twitter account of the man she says federal agents told her was the same man arrested by police on Thursday.
“These are the chilling scenes capturing a man who tried to enter my house in New York with a loaded gun to kill me,” she tweeted, although no gun was visible in the image. “Last year, the FBI prevented the Islamic Republic from kidnapping me. My crime is to give voice to the voiceless. The American administration must be tough on terrorism.”
Alinejad says she has spoken with federal agents monthly since the alleged kidnapping attempt last year.
“I really thought the plot was over. I was like, ‘OK, I can focus on my job’ – what I’m going to do, nothing will stop me,” she said.
“I see this as a continuation of trying to undercut Iranian women,” the activist told CNN.
Alinejad, who frequently shares photos and videos of what she says are ‘voiceless’ Iranian women through her social media accounts, said Iranian officials recently warned her against continuing her activism. .
A spokesperson for Iran’s Headquarters for Promoting Virtue and Preventing Vice announced in July that anyone who sends videos to Alinejad regarding the hijab or commits other anti-government activities will face a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
“It’s the 21st century: enough is enough,” Alinejad said. “I left my country, Iran, to be safe, to be the voice of the voiceless. This is my crime. I want to enjoy freedom of speech as an American.”
CNN’s Liam Rielly contributed to this report.