Four charged in NY journalist kidnap plot

U.S. prosecutors have charged four Iranians, alleged to be intelligence operatives for Tehran.

They're accused of plotting to kidnap a New York journalist and human rights activist who was critical of Iran.

That's according to a Justice Department indictment unsealed on Tuesday (July 14).

Prosecutors said the Iranian operatives had researched how they might spirit the journalist out of New York on a high-speed boat headed for Caracas.

While the indictment did not name the target of the plot, Reuters has confirmed she is Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad.

She has contributed to the U.S. government-funded Voice of America Persian language service and reports on human rights issues in Iran.

Asked by Reuters to confirm that Alinejad was the target of the plot, the Department of Justice declined to comment.

U.S authorities said in recent years, Iranian intelligence officers have tricked a number of overseas activists to travel to destinations where they were kidnapped and sent back to Iran.

In 2019, Iranian intelligence officers lured Ruhollah Zam, a journalist living in France, out of the country, capturing and later executing him in Iran on sedition charges.

Reuters reached Alinejad after the indictment was released, said she was in a state of shock.

She said she had been working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation since the agency approached her eight months ago with photographs taken by the plotters.

She said the Islamic Republic had gotten very close.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting