3 arrested in Iranian-linked plot against journalist
January 31, 2023

Three men were arrested and charged in connection to several plots against journalist Masih Alinejad. The Department of Justice released a statement saying, “As recently as 2020 and 2021, Iranian intelligence officials and assets plotted to kidnap the (Alinejad) from within the United States for rendition to Iran in an effort to silence the (Alinejad’s) criticism of the regime.”

Alinejad has been a long-time, and extremely vocal, critic of the Iranian government. Over the years, the actions have garnered the eire of the
Iranian intelligence forces.  


A member of the FBI’s Special Weapons and Tactics team training. (Photo by Jamal Wilson)

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said, “Today’s indictment exposes a dangerous menace to national security – a double threat posed by a vicious transnational crime group operating from what it thought was the safe haven of a rogue nation. That rogue nation is the Islamic Republic of Iran.” 

The three suspects are linked to an Eastern European criminal organization known to work with Iran’s intelligence forces. They are facing murder-for-hire and money laundering charges in this latest plot. 

The detained trio included a man who was arrested last summer for having a loaded “Norinco AK-47-style” rifle, with approximately 66 rounds of ammunition, while driving in Alinejad’s New York neighborhood.

History of plots against journalist Masih Alinejad

In an interview last year, Alinejad revealed she has been targeted by the Iranian government for supporting the protests in the country. In July 2021, four Iranian nationals were charged for an alleged plot to kidnap Masih Alinejad. 

These men surveilled and even installed a high-definition camera observing Masih Alinejad’s house in New York. No arrests were made in this case and the four Iranian nationals remain at large.

Who is Masih Alinejad?

Masih Alinejad is a New York-based journalist and human rights activist outspoken against the Iranian government. She has been quoted numerous times claiming she doesn’t fear the documented plots against her and her family’s safety. However, Alinejad states that she remains committed to supporting the protests in Iran. 

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