The US Department of Justice has charged four members of Iranian intelligence with plotting to kidnap a New York-based journalist, who was known for her highly critical work on Iran. Although the prosecution did not explicitly mention it, Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad revealed that she is the person to be kidnapped, along with three other individuals in Canada and one unidentified person in the United Kingdom. The four defendants live in Iran. The country’s government commented on the news, describing the allegations as “baseless.”
According to the Ministry of JusticeAlinejad’s home was under surveillance, with cameras to record activities throughout the house and some investigators to spy on his movements. The organizers of the kidnapping also tried to contact some of the journalist’s relatives, and offered them sums of money to get her to reach Venezuela, Iran’s ally, where she would be kidnapped and transferred to Iranian territory again. According to US allegations. Alinejad’s contacts refused to cooperate, so alternatives were considered, such as the possibility of carrying out the hijacking directly in New York and then reaching Venezuela by sea.
Alinejad is 44 years old, has a large number of followers on social networks, and presents a program on Voice of America Persian Radio, a satellite channel funded by the US government. Over the years, Alinejad has expressed scathing criticism of the Iranian regime, with various initiatives, including campaigns against requiring Iranian women to wear headscarves in public.
I am grateful to the FBI for thwarting an Iranian Ministry of Intelligence plot to kidnap me. This plot was orchestrated during the reign of Rouhani.
This is the regime that kidnapped and executed the spirit of God Zam. They kidnapped and imprisoned Jamshid Charhad and many others pic.twitter.com/HUefdEbiil
– Masih Alinejad ️ (@AlinejadMasih) July 14, 2021
During the Tuesday, July 13 episode of its broadcast, Ali Nejad said he learned with great concern that he was the target of an international kidnapping: “Then I thought about it: the Islamic regime fears us for life, and now the regime is afraid of it. Of me.”
The Ministry of Justice alleges that four Iranian intelligence agents planned the kidnapping with the help of an Iranian citizen living in California. This person was arrested on suspicion of financing criminal activity and violating sanctions against Iran. The accused denied the charges and pleaded not guilty.