Iranian Operatives Plotted To Kidnap Brooklyn Journalist
On Tuesday, an unsealed Justice Department indictment exposed a shocking international kidnapping plot. According to federal prosecutors, Iranian intelligence official Alireza Shahvaroghi Farahani and three other foreign intelligence assets conspired to kidnap Iranian American author and journalist Masih Alinejad from her home in Brooklyn.
Alinejad is a champion of women’s rights and an outspoken critic of the Islamic Republic of Iran. As host of Voice of America Persian’s show Tablet, she has reported extensively on the regime’s human rights abuses, particularly those carried out against women.
Recently, she supported Iranian women protesting laws requiring head coverings, tweeting in solidarity, “More women from inside Iran [are speaking out] against #ForcedHijab & risking jail by saying No to Islamic Republic….Iranian people risk everything to reject whole regime.” Despite her American citizenship and residency, however, the abduction plot reveals that Alinejad was risking it all, too, by speaking out from Brooklyn.
Third-country captures are commonly employed by Iranian intelligence to eliminate critics, dissidents, and human rights advocates. Operatives used a similar tactic to abduct and eventually execute journalist Ruhollah Zam in 2020. Had the FBI not raised the alarm, Alinejad’s future seemed similarly grim. Upon the revelation, she tweeted, “I’m glad to be alive and appreciate your
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