The idea was to take the journalist by boat from New York to Venezuela, a country that has good relations with Iran. From there it will be taken to Iran, where the victim’s fate will be “uncertain at best,” according to OM. The indictment described the target as a “journalist, writer and human rights activist,” and moments later Iranian-American Masih Alinejad announced on Twitter that it was her.
“This is not a far-fetched movie plot,” said William Sweeney, assistant director of the FBI. We believe that a group backed by the Iranian government planned to kidnap an American journalist from our country. But we will not let that happen.
Pictures and videos
In a video posted on Twitter, Alinejad said she didn’t believe it at first, but began to take it seriously when FBI agents showed her videos and photos of her and her family, allegedly taken by the Iranians. “I am grateful to the FBI for thwarting the plot. We have always been afraid of the Islamic regime, but now the Islamic regime seems to be afraid of me.
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
Alinejad immigrated to the United States in 2008 and is a vocal critic of the Iranian government. In 2015, she was awarded a Human Rights Prize in Geneva for creating a Facebook page inviting women in Iran (where they are forced to wear the hijab) to post pictures of her without the hijab. Presented in the Persian language program “Tablet” on Voice of America, I got an American passport two years ago.
All four accused Iranians live in Iran and are on the run. Only one of them, Ali Reza Shavrugi Farahani, is mentioned by name, and the other three are described as “intelligence officers”.
Recently, a number of Iranian dissidents living abroad disappeared under mysterious circumstances. In one of her tweets, Alinejad referred to the Iranian journalist Ruhollah Zam, who lived in France and was lured to Iraq in 2019, where he was arrested by Iran. In the same year, he was executed after a show trial. There is also the case of Jamshid Sharehad, who lived in California and was kidnapped abroad last year and is now in an Iranian cell.
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