Brooklyn, NY

Man arrested with AK-47 outside of dissident Iranian journalist’s Brooklyn home

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Police arrested a man with a loaded AK-47 near the Brooklyn home of a prominent Iranian dissident, Masih Alinejad on Thursday.
Footage from Alinejad’s Ring doorbell shows Khalid Mehdiyev at her front door.NYPOST

Alinejad is a well-known Iranian writer and dissident who last year was the alleged target of a kidnapping plot by Iranian agents, the FBI said. Iran has denied wrongdoing, calling the past kidnapping allegations “baseless.”

Mehdiyev was pulled over around 3 p.m. by the NYPD at the corner of Dorchester Road and Rugby Road after going through a stop sign, an NYPD spokesman said. 

He was allegedly driving with a suspended license and police said they later found a loaded AK-47 in the back seat. Prosecutors said serial numbers on the weapon had been defaced. 

He allegedly walked around her house, peering through the windows and appeared at one point to try to open the front door. After his arrest, cops found a rifle lying on the car’s backseat, along with 66 rounds of ammo.

Federal authorities are investigating whether the man arrested was part of a plot to target or kill her, two law enforcement officials said.

Federal prosecutors and the FBI said Mehdiyev, who is from Yonkers, had a loaded AK-47, 66 rounds of ammo, and more than $1,000 worth of cash inside his Illinois-plated Subaru when he was arrested after lurking for two days, according to a federal complaint.

The complaint makes no explicit connection between Mehdiyev and Alinejad but says the accused had focused on an unnamed Brooklyn “residence.”

“Shocked to learn that an assassin with a loaded AK47 came my home in Brooklyn,” she tweeted Sunday. “Last year, the Islamic Republic, tried to kidnap me, now they want to kill me. I’m grateful to federal agents but the Administration must do more to protect US citizens.”

According to a criminal complaint, investigators had recently observed Mehdiyev outside the home of Masih Alinejad, an outspoken Iranian dissident living in the Flatbush neighborhood.

It said Mehdiyev remained outside her home for several hours and acted suspiciously.

Last year, after the unsealing of a federal indictment, the journalist revealed herself as the target of a years-long plot to traffic her back to Iran.

Iran has denied her kidnapping allegations, calling them "baseless."

Mehdiyev, meanwhile, is charged with a federal weapons count. Investigators are determining whether he was surveilling Alinejad’s home and, if so, whether he was acting alone.

Data Source : NYPOST

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