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Tags: iran | kidnap | target | biden | plot | alinejad

Kidnap Target to Biden: 'Show Some Gumption,' Act Against Iran

masih alinejad speaks onstage
Masih Alinejad speaks during the 10th Anniversary Women In The World Summit at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on April 12, 2019, in New York City. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 14 July 2021 09:47 AM EDT

A New York-based journalist and Iranian dissident targeted in a kidnap plot called on President Joe Biden to take action against Iran's government.

On Tuesday, a federal court unsealed an indictment alleging that Iranian intelligence planned to kidnap an unnamed U.S.-based journalist and transport her back to Iran.

Masih Alinejad, a noted critic of the Iranian government, confirmed to Newsweek and other media outlets that she was the target of the plot.

"I know that I have a bullseye target on my back but that applies to all human rights activists and dissidents," Alinejad said in a statement to Newsweek. "I am not going to stop doing what I'm doing.

"I'd like the Biden administration to show some gumption and take action against the Islamic Republic. Only a stern response will make the Iranian government stop its malign behavior."

Newsweek reported the indictment named Iranian intelligence official Alireza Shavaroghi Farahani as the plot's ringleader. Three other Iranian intelligence assets also were indicted.

The four suspects, who remain at large, are facing conspiracy charges related to kidnapping, sanctions violations, bank and wire fraud, and money laundering. They are presumed to be in Iran.

Financial assistance for the plot was allegedly provided by a fifth suspect, Niloufar Bahadorifar, who was arrested on July 1 on conspiracy charges of sanctions violations, bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and structuring cash deposits worth approximately $445,000, Newsweek said.

The alleged plan to kidnap Alinejad — which began no later than June 2020 — appears to have been in its advanced stages. Unnamed private investigators were employed by the suspects to provide 24/7 surveillance that included a live high-definition video feed of Alinejad's home, Newsweek reported.

Federal prosecutors said the kidnappers planned to transport Alinejad out of New York using military-style speedboats, with the intention of eventually taking her to Venezuela and then on to Iran, Newsweek said.

The exposed plot has prompted Republican lawmakers to pressure Biden not to re-enter the Iran nuclear talks or end sanctions against the rogue country.

"I commend the Department of Justice and the FBI for their work to expose a chilling plot by the Iranian regime to kidnap a U.S. citizen from sovereign U.S. soil," said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, according to The Washington Times.

"This revelation serves as another reminder that the Biden administration bending over backwards to re-enter the JCPOA is likely sacrificing our leverage to compel Iran to cease its other malign activities.

"This is a regime that holds American hostages and is actively trying to kidnap an American from the streets of New York. President Biden should not enter into any deals with Iran without an end to these assaults on our citizens."

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
A New York-based journalist and Iranian dissident targeted in a kidnap plot called on President Joe Biden to take action against Iran's government. On Tuesday, a federal court unsealed an indictment...
iran, kidnap, target, biden, plot, alinejad
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2021-47-14
Wednesday, 14 July 2021 09:47 AM
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