Man With Rifle Arrested Near Home of Dissident Iranian VOA Host

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested a suspect seen with a military-style rifle near the home of Iranian Voice of America (VOA) host Masih Alinejad.

According to a federal complaint, suspect Khalid Mehdiyev, 23, was seen on Thursday with a loaded assault rifle, a high-capacity magazine, and more than $1,000 in cash concealed in a suitcase in his car near Alinejad’s home in Brooklyn, New York.

The FBI is currently investigating Mehdiyev, who is being held on federal charges for having a gun without a visible serial number, to determine whether he is involved in a plot to kill or neutralize Alinejad, who is a dissident Iranian journalist.

In a video from a Ring camera that Alinejad posted on Twitter on Sunday, Mehdiyev was captured holding his phone while he appeared to be recording something.

“These are the scary scenes capturing a man who tried to enter my house in New York with a loaded gun to kill me,” wrote Alinejad.

FBI agents said that 2 days before Mehdiyev’s arrest, he had spent hours sitting in his gray Subaru Forester SUV, which had an Illinois license plate, on Alinejad’s street while concentrating on the Iranian journalist’s residence.

In a VOA-distributed video message, Alinejad said that Iran’s Islamist leaders “not only intended to make sure that I physically didn’t exist anymore, they also wanted to destroy my Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, and WhatsApp channels.”

Mehdiyev is scheduled to appear at the Rye Criminal Court tomorrow.


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