WASHINGTON — The Division of Justice has charged three members of an Jap European prison group with ties to Iran with trying to assassinate a distinguished U.S. journalist and activist essential of the Iranian regime.
In a 25-page indictment unsealed within the U.S. District Courtroom for the Southern District of New York, the Division of Justice mentioned the three males had been enlisted final 12 months to homicide an American citizen of Iranian origin on U.S. soil. The individual, who was not recognized by the Justice Division and solely described as “the sufferer,” wrote critically about Iran’s remedy of girls, protesters and different points, the indictment mentioned.
Quickly after the fees had been introduced, Masih Alinejad revealed that she was the goal of the assassination plot.
“I simply discovered from 12 FBI brokers that the three males employed by the Iranian regime to kill me on US soil have been indicted. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards have been conducting these terrorist operations for 4 many years. Islamic Republic is ISIS with oil. #WomanLifeFreedom,” she tweeted.
The tried assassination occurred after the FBI and federal officers disrupted an Iranian group’s earlier try to silence Alinejad on U.S. soil. However the second plot final summer time did not succeed both.
“Luckily, their plot failed as a result of we didn’t,” FBI Director Christopher Wray mentioned at a press convention saying the indictment.
The three defendants who had been charged are Rafat Amirov, Polad Omarov and Khalid Mehdiyev. Amirov, a citizen of Azerbaijan and Russia who was dwelling in Iran through the plot, was taken into custody in New York on Thursday. Mehdiyev, additionally a citizen of Azerbaijan, was dwelling in Yonkers, N.Y., and was arrested on the finish of July. Omarov, a citizen of Georgia, was arrested within the Czech Republic in early January and the U.S. will request his extradition to the U.S., the Justice Division mentioned.
The indictment alleges that Amirov was tasked in July 2022 by individuals in Iran with focusing on the sufferer, saying he “obtained focusing on details about the sufferer.” He despatched pictures of the journalist’s residence in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Omarov, which the indictment mentioned confirmed the time and battery stage in Farsi numbers “in keeping with the tasking originating from inside Iran.”
Omarov then directed Mehdiyev to hold out the plot in opposition to Alinejad and Amirov and Omarov organized to pay Mehdiyev $30,000 in money. Mehdiyev then obtained an AK-47-style assault rifle to hold out the homicide, prosecutors mentioned.
Forward of the tried assassination, Mehdiyev “surveilled the sufferer and members of the sufferer’s household; took images and movies of the sufferer’s residence in Brooklyn and surrounding neighborhood; and devised schemes to lure the sufferer out of the sufferer’s home,” the indictment mentioned.
Earlier than he might perform the plot, nevertheless, Mehdiyev was arrested close to Alinejad’s dwelling in July with the assault rifle in his possession.
“On the time of the arrest, Mehdiyev, on the route of Amirov and Omarov, was making ready imminently to execute the assault on the sufferer,” the indictment mentioned.
Lawyer Common Merrick Garland mentioned on the press convention Friday that U.S. legislation protects its residents within the peaceable train of their constitutional and civil rights, because the journalist was doing in questioning Iran’s actions.
“The Division of Justice is not going to tolerate makes an attempt by an authoritarian regime to undermine these protections and the rule of legislation upon which our democracy relies,” Garland mentioned. “We is not going to tolerate makes an attempt by a overseas energy to threaten silence or hurt People. We’ll cease at nothing to determine, discover and convey to justice those that endanger the security of the American individuals.”