FOUR Iranian spies targeted an American journalist in a “plot” that involved taking her to Venezuela by speedboat and flying her to Tehran, according to the FBI.
By The US Sun – Chris Bradford and Frances Mulraney
Jul 14, 2021
Operatives Alireza Shahvaroghi Farahani, Mahmoud Khazein, Kiya Sadeghi, and Omid Noori are accused and charged of plotting to kidnap the Brooklyn-based reporter who has been highly critical of the Tehran regime.
The journalist was not named in court documents but reporter Masih Alinejad told NBC News that she was the “target”.
William F. Sweeney Jr, of the FBI in New York, said: “This is not some far-fetched movie plot.
“We allege a group, backed by the Iranian government, conspired to kidnap a US-based journalist here on our soil and forcibly return her to Iran. Not on our watch.”
A so-called plot allegedly involved shipping the reporter to Venezuela and taking her to Iran, according to an indictment cited by the New York Times.
Alinejad told NBC on Tuesday: “I’ve been targeted for a number of years but this is the first time that such an audacious plot has been hatched and foiled.”
She posted a video on Twitter saying she was “grateful” to the FBI for foiling the alleged attempt.
Last year, the journalist and activist claimed that Iran officials had wanted to kidnap her in the past.
She fled the country in 2009 and has repeatedly called out Iran’s human rights abuses.
“I can choose to be miserable every day or make my oppressors miserable and I chose the second,” she added, stating that the Iranian government “did everything they could to break me.”
It included interrogating her 70-year-old mother and bringing her sister on TV to disown her.
The author also slammed Biden for not taking stronger action against Iran when they attempted to kidnap her on US soil as a US citizen.
Alinejad wrote in the Washington Post last August: “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.”
She referred to the case of journalist Ruhollah Zam, who was detained after traveling to Iraq in 2019.
He was executed in 2020 after being charged with “corruption on earth.”
“When the FBI came to my home ten months ago to tell me my safety had been compromised, I couldn’t believe it. Here in the US?” she said.
“I jokingly responded that I’m used to receiving death threats daily. I always get threats like ‘we will kill you, we will throw acid in your face, we follow you everywhere,’ I joked with the FBI.
“Then they firmly told me ‘Look, these are the photos/videos of you that they took’,” she continued.
“They’d taken photos of me, my husband, and his children.”
Alinejad said that she sat down with 12 FBI agents when she was first told about the threat eight months ago and was astounded that they were there to protect her.
“I couldn’t believe that these policemen wanted to protect me,” she said.
“That’s the only thing I told the FBI at that moment because they told me I didn’t have permission to leave the US, for safety,” the journalist continued.
“I wish someone had told Ruhollah Zam he didn’t have permission to leave for Iraq.”
Read More: The US Sun – ‘Kidnap’ Terror – FBI foils ‘plot by Iranian spies to kidnap US journalist Masih Alinejad and take her to Venezuela by speedboat’