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Man arrested with loaded AK-47 outside New York home of Iranian-American journalist

Posted at 7:10 PM, Aug 01, 2022

An Iranian-American journalist says it was "shocking" to learn that New York police arrested a man outside of her Brooklyn home on Friday with a loaded AK-47 assault rifle.

As Reuters reported, 45-year-old Masih Alinejad, who is also an outspoken women's rights activist, is a well-known journalist who has been a noted speaker at summits like the World Summit, where she spoke to an audience in New York in 2019.

A criminal complaint was filed on Friday in a Manhattan federal court, which said a man named Khalid Mehdiyev was seen acting suspiciously near Alinejad's home over two days before the Friday arrest.

The complaint said that Mehdiyev arrived in an SUV with Illinois plates, and it is believed that he ordered food which was delivered to his car. He then is accused of lingering outside of the home and trying to look into the residence's windows, and it is alleged that he tried to open the door.

According to reporting by the New York Times, he was later stopped by New York police after failing to obey a stop sign and was arrested for driving without a license or driving with a suspended license. A suitcase was later found in the vehicle's rear, which contained a loaded AK-47-style rifle with a destroyed serial number.

“I came here in America to be safe,” Alinejad said. “First, they were trying to kidnap me. And now I see a man with a loaded gun trying to enter my house. I mean, it’s shocking.”

According to the New York Times, Alinejad has been the target of an international kidnapping plot that was announced last year by federal prosecutors.

Alinejad is known for her outspoken work criticizing the Iranian government and said in the Washington Postin 2020 that the Iranian government had launched a social media campaign calling for her abduction. Four Iranian officials were changed with the conspiracy to kidnap her and try to forcibly return her to Iran, according to a federal indictment.