News broke yesterday of a plot by Iranian operatives to kidnap a journalist in New York, who speaks out against the Iranian regime, and smuggle her back to Iran in order to silence her. Fox News has the details, including an interview with the journalist herself, Masih Alinejad.
Here’s more on the story from Reuters:
The image on the alleged Iranian intelligence operative’s device was chilling: A graphic showing photos of two Iranian dissidents captured overseas. Next to them was a picture of a journalist U.S. prosecutors say he intended to kidnap and the caption “are you coming or should we come for you?”
The intended target was Iranian American journalist Masih Alinejad, a contributor to U.S. government-financed Voice of America’s Farsi edition, who had angered Iran through her pointed criticism of the country’s headcovering laws, according to U.S. prosecutors.
“I had goose bumps and was crying, but this is my fight,” Alinejad said in an interview this week, soon after learning that U.S. federal prosecutors had charged https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-charges-iranian-nationals-with-kidnapping-2021-07-13 four Iranians with plotting to kidnap her. “I didn’t do anything but give a voice to people.”
Alinejad was not identified in court papers unsealed on Tuesday charging the four Iranians, but confirmed to Reuters that she was the target of the plot. She showed video of a near-constant police presence outside her New York home intended to protect her.
The image, which prosecutors said was seized in an electronic device and captioned in Farsi, was revealed in unsealed court papers.
U.S. authorities say the plot is part of an escalating effort by the Islamic Republic to harass, surveil and kidnap Iranian activists overseas.
The four Iranians charged in the case hired private detectives in Manhattan to surveil Alinejad and her family. The Iranian intelligence operatives were trying to figure out how to spirit Alinejad out of New York by boat to South America, U.S. authorities said.
The same network of Iranian intelligence operatives targeted at least four other activists in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, hiring local private investigators to photograph entrances to homes, follow family members and monitor their contacts, prosecutors said.
Before the plot to kidnap Alinejad started in 2020, authorities say, the operatives had made several failed attempts to lure her to Turkey by coercing family members to invite her for a reunion.
Alinejad’s brother warned her of the scheme, she said.
“My brother exposed it and he was arrested” in Iran, she said. Other family members living in Iran were forced to publicly denounce her, she said.
Fox News also reported last night that, while the Biden administration condemns the kidnapping attempt on American soil, they have no plans to stop their diplomatic negotiations with Iran. In other words, they could care less.