US authorities have charged three members of a criminal organization with ties to the Iranian government with conspiring to murder a journalist and activist.
The Department of Justice issued a statement confirming charges against Rafat Amirov, Polad Omarov, and Khalid Mehdiyev of murder-for-hire and money laundering over their roles in the foiled plan, alleged to have been backed by Tehran.
Authorities have not named the intended victim, but it is widely believed to be US-based Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad. Mehdiyev was detained in New York last year for after being found in possession of a rifle outside the Alinejad’s Brooklyn home.
Alinejad told Reuters that on Friday morning, she was invited to the FBI offices in Manhattan, where a dozen agents briefed her on the suspected plot.
Authorities say that in July, the guys intended to lure Alinejad out of her home by asking for flowers from her garden and then gun her down.
The assassination attempt, according to Alinejad, demonstrates that Iran is scared of Iranian women seeking their rights, which she frequently advocates on social media. She stated, “They are scared of their own people,” “Like millions of others, I desire liberty for my nation. I do not deserve to die because of this.”