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US arrests three in Iran-backed plot to assassinate dissident journalist Alinejad

Masih Alinejad routinely pillories Western leaders who comply with the obligation to wear a hijab during their visits to Iran
— Washington (AFP)

The US Justice Department announced the indictment Friday of three members of a European criminal gang who allegedly undertook a Tehran-backed plot to assassinate dissident Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad.

The Justice Department said one of the three, Rafat Amirov, a leader of the unnamed gang who lives in Iran, directed the plot last year to kill Alinejad at her home in New York.

Working with another senior gang member Polad Omarov, based in eastern Europe, they directed Khalid Mehdiyev, a US citizen living in Yonkers, New York, to carry out the murder, and sent him $30,000 to do so, the department said.

Mehdiyev was arrested near Alinejad's New York home in late July with a loaded AK-47 assault rifle, aiming to lure her out of her home.

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