Police announced on Sunday that they have arrested a suspect who was found with a loaded assault rifle and 66 rounds of ammunition near the Brooklyn home of outspoken Iranian writer and dissident Masih Alinejad, NBC New York reported.
The suspect, Khalid Mehdiyev, was arrested after lurking for two days in a car and on foot near the residence of Alinejad, who was also the alleged target of a kidnapping plot by Iranian agents last year, the FBI said.
Mehdiyev was seen walking around Alinejad's property and looking into the windows of her residence, in addition to staying in his car for several hours near her home on two separate days.
New York Police Department officers stopped Mehdiyev on Thursday after he drove through a stop sign and placed him under arrest when they found he was driving without a license, according to the New York Post.
Mehdiyev admitted the assault weapon was his after initially claiming that he did know about the rifle and had driven from Yonkers to Brooklyn in order to look for an apartment, according to a complaint filed by federal prosecutors, NBC New York reported.
FBI and NYPD investigators are trying to figure out if the suspect was indeed surveilling Alinejad’s home and if he was acting alone.
This is particularly concerning because last July the FBI uncovered an alleged Iranian kidnapping plot to take Alinejad from her home and bring her back to Iran via South America.
As the FBI was unraveling Iran’s plans last year, Alinajed was moved to safe houses for her protection, officials said at the time.
Alinejad has a large following on social media due to her outspoken criticism of the regime in Iran, especially on the issue of women’s rights.
Brian Freeman ✉
Brian Freeman, a Newsmax writer based in Israel, has more than three decades writing and editing about culture and politics for newspapers, online and television.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.