Dissident Iranian journalist tells the regime to ‘go to hell’ after she blames the government for incident of man, 23, armed with loaded AK-47, lurked outside her Brooklyn home
- Masih Alinejad, Iranian journalist and activist, told the Iranian government to ‘go to hell’ during a heated interview with CNN on Monday
- Alinejad speculates the Iranian government sent someone to her home to attack her after it was revealed that a 23-year-old was lurking outside her Brooklyn home
- Khalid Mehdiyev, 23, was found in possession of a loaded AK-47 on Thursday along with a high-capacity magazine and more than $1,000 in cash in his car
- He was parked outside the Brooklyn home of Alinejad for days before he was captured in security footage on her porch
- Mehdiyev was stopped by NYPD after he rolled through a stop sign, and was arrested for driving without a license
- The incident comes a year after Alinejad was involved in a kidnapping ploy by Iranian operatives seeking to kidnap her and bring her back to the country
Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad told the Iranian government to ‘go to hell’ on Monday after claiming the country’s regime was responsible for sending a man armed with a loaded AK-47 to her Brooklyn neighborhood.
‘Go to hell,’ Alinejad said in a direct message to the Iranian regime during an on-camera interview with CNN. ‘I’m not scared of you. I have only one life. You care about power – I care about my dignity – and freedom like millions of other people inside Iran.’
Khalid Mehdiyev, 23, was found on Thursday with the assault rifle, a high-capacity magazine and more than $1,000 in cash stashed away in his car, according to a federal complaint.
Mehdiyev was sitting outside the journalist’s Brooklyn home for two days in his gray Subaru Forester SUV with an Illinois license plate before he was caught in Alinejad’s Ring camera footage, which showed the 23-year-old wandering on her porch.
‘I’m not scared [for] my life at all because I know what I’m doing,’ Alinejad said. ‘I have only one life, and I dedicated my life to give voice to Iranian people inside Iran who bravely go to the streets, face guns and bullets to protest against Iranian regime, but this is happening in America. This is happening [for the] second time. They try to assassinate, to kill, and kidnap American citizens [on] US soil.’
Police are investigating why Mehdiyev was scooping out Alinejad’s home.
Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad appeared on CNN to discuss the man arrested outside of her Brooklyn home who was found on Thursday with the the assault riffle, a high-capacity magazine, and more than $1,000 in cash stashed away in his car
Khalid Mehdiyev, 23, was seen in Ring camera footage. Alinejad shared the footage of the 23-year-old lurking on her Brooklyn porch on Twitter
Mehdiyev was outside Alinejad’s house for days before he was arrested. Police found an AK-47 rifle in his car
Alinejad, 45, told CNN the Iranian regime has been targeting her family for constantly voicing her thoughts on freedom and women’s rights in Iran, especially as some women seek to lose the traditional hijab.
‘First, they put my brother in jail to punish me,’ Alinejad said. ‘Second, they brought my sister on TV to disown me publicly. Third, interrogated my mothers for hours and hours and asked her to take me to Turkey.’
‘She added, ‘Then they arrested all these women, and brought them all on TV to disown me publicly.’
Alinejad explained how the Iranian regime has targeted her family in attempt to combat her efforts for women’s rights and freedom in the country
Alinejad has spoken out against corruption in the Iranian government. Anti-government protesters are seen outside the Iranian Embassy in Berlin in January 2020
Alinejad was targeted in 2021 in a kidnapping conspiracy before being saved by the FBI. She was taken to a safe house before learning on July 13 that four Iranian intelligence officers planned to snatch her from her house in Brooklyn and take her on a speedboat to Venezuela.
‘Last year when I was here, it was when the FBI announced that they stopped the kidnapping plot,’ she told CNN. ‘I was like okay – I’m safe – finally – I’m going to enjoy my freedom in America to give voice to voiceless people inside Iran. But now I’ve been told, a few days ago, that I have to move from my house because this time, a man, was in front of my house with loaded guns to kill me.’
It was later revealed that private investigators were hired to capture footage of Alinejad and her family around her Brooklyn home.
Four suspects – Alireza Shahvaroghi Farahani, Mahmoud Khazein, Omid Noori, and Kiya Sadeghiwere – were identified in the kidnapping scheme as the FBI attempted to arrest them as they fled back to Iran.
A fifth suspect, Niloufar Bahadorifar, accused of supporting the plot financially but not participating in the kidnapping conspiracy, was later arrested in California.
Iranian officials denied the kidnapping allegations.
Before ending her interview with CNN, Alinejad left a message for President Joe Biden and his administration.
‘Shut down the Islamic Republic… throw out all the Iranian diplomats,’ she said. ‘Why [are] they here? The Iranian regime twice challenged the US government on US soil. I deserve to have freedom in the United States of America. Kick them out. If you don’t, believe me, they’re going to come after more American citizens.’
Mahmoud Khazein (left) and Omid Noori (right) are among four Iranians charged in the kidnap plot
Kiya Sadeghi (left) is accused of being an asset working for the Iranian spy chief, Alireza Shahvaroghi Farahani (right)
Alinejad was intertwined into a kidnapping conspiracy in 2021. The FBI moved her to various safe houses and later revealed her kidnappers planned to smuggle her to Venezuela
Alinejad speculates Mehdiyev is apart of the Iranian regime’s plan to silence her. The 23-year-old arrived on Alinejad’s street in Brooklyn on July 27.
He was spotted on returning to the street a day later, and stayed in his car for hours.
‘Mehdiyev behaved suspiciously during that time: among other things, he exited and entered the Subaru several times, ordered food to be delivered to the Subaru, approached the Residence, appeared to attempt to look inside the windows of the Residence and attempted to open the front door of the Residence,’ Special Agent David Kasse wrote in his report.
Police pulled over Mehdiyev later on July 28 after he rolled through a stop sign and discovered he was driving with a suspended license, according to Kasse.
Documents by the NYPD revealed Mehdiyev was issued a parking ticket on July 23 on the same Brooklyn Street – he was taken into custody before cops found the gun and money inside his car.
Mehdiyev told investigators that he was trying to knock on the front door of Alinejad’s house to inquire about a room to rent, but decided to flee in fear of waking someone up. He said the thousands of dollars in cash was intended for a hotel room.
He denied knowledge of the firearm found in his car before confessing ownership.
He later said he was in Brooklyn ‘because he was looking for someone.’
Mehdiyev sat in his gray Subaru Forester SUV on a Brooklyn street with an Illinois license plate for days. He was pulled over by police on July 27 for rolling through stop sign. He was arrested for driving with an expired license and for a parking ticket he received on July 23 while parked on the same Brooklyn street
Mehdiyev told police he arrived at Alinejad’s street to inquire about a room to rent. He said he fled the home out of fear he would wake up a resident
Alinejad’s criticism of Iran
July 2018, The New York Times:
‘As a journalist in Iran, I often got into trouble exposing the regime’s mismanagement and corruption until, eventually, my press pass was revoked.
‘I was often threatened with arrest or worse for writing articles critical of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
‘Ultimately, I was forced to flee my homeland in 2009.’
July 2020, Voice of America:
‘I call on the leaders of European countries to join the U.S. in not only condemning Iran’s hostage-taking but also condemning its recent executions of prisoners.’
August 2020, The Washington Post:
‘The regime’s cruel treatment of women remains one of its biggest weaknesses, and my focus on related injustices explains why it remains so persistent in targeting me.’