Police interrogate gunman arrested near Iranian activist’s home in Brooklyn

A man arrested in Brooklyn with an AK-47 gun near the home of an Iranian activist told police he went there “looking for someone”, Iran International has learned.

On July 27 and 28, 23-year-old Khalid Mehdiyev, believed to be from the Republic of Azerbaijan, was seen strolling outside the home of Masih Alinejad, a well-known Iranian journalist and women’s rights activist.

A sealed complaint filed by a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent in the Southern District of New York on July 29 and seen by Iran International says the suspect was prowling outside a Brooklyn home, without naming Alinejad, and even attempted to entered the residence and looked out the windows. Other reliable information received confirms that the incident occurred at Alinejad’s address.

On July 28, as the man was leaving the scene after sitting in a Subaru SUV for hours and walking around the building, he was arrested by New York City Police (NYPD) for a code violation. the road.

The filed complaint does not say whether the NYPD was tipped off by federal agents about the vehicle, or whether the traffic stop was a coincidence.

While the man was being held at an NYPD precinct and being questioned, police found a Chinese-made AK-47 assault rifle in a suitcase in the back seat of the car and $1,100 in cash. Mehdiyev initially denied that the suitcase and the gun were his, but later changed his story and admitted that the gun was his, and that he was “in Brooklyn because he was looking for someone. “.

Masih Alinejad, Iranian women’s rights activist

“At that time, MEHDIYEV invoked his right to counsel and stated that he would not discuss the matter further at that time,” the court complaint reads.

The pistol with one cartridge in the chamber, two magazines of more than 60 rounds, had its serial number erased. Police also found two other license plates in the car with different numbers and issued by different states than the Illinois plate on the vehicle.

Alinejad, who campaigns against compulsory hijab and other rights issues, has been the target of a kidnapping plot orchestrated by the Iranian intelligence network Last year. She has a huge following in Iran, especially among women with over 7 million followers on Instagram and 373,000 on Twitter.

The mullahs’ regime in Iran does not hide its contempt for the activist and has banned women from sharing information or videos with her. The state-controlled media regularly castigates her and uses labels such as CIA agent to discredit her activism.

His most recent campaign that angered the Islamic Republic was a call for Iranian women to remove their headscarves on July 12. Many women have done so and sent their videos to Alinejad or shared them on social media. Regime officials reacted by saying that the hijab was their “red line”.

At this stage, it is unconfirmed that Mehdiyev’s target was Alinejad, or if he has ties to Iranian spy rings. In the coming days, other revelations could follow. Alinejad has also yet to publicly react to the news.