Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad on Monday said her voice was “more powerful than a weapon” and reiterated she would not be intimidated after a man was arrested near her home — allegedly with an AK-47.
Alinejad, who hosts the Voice of America Persian Service, told CNN’s Brianna Keilar she was being targeted simply because she gives a voice to the voiceless and shines a light on the Iranian regime.
“It’s clear the Iranian regime is watching me, they’re reading my words,” Alinejad said. “I have only one message for them. … I’m not scared of you. I have only one life. You care about power, I care about my dignity and freedom, like millions of people inside Iran.”
Alinejad, a women’s rights activist with more than 374,000 followers on Twitter, was also the focus of a kidnapping plot from four Iranian nationalists last July. The plot was foiled by the FBI.
On Thursday, New York City police arrested Khalid Mehdiyev, 23, near the journalist’s home in Brooklyn after police said he failed to halt at a stop sign.
Inside Mehdiyev’s Subaru Forester, police said they found an AK-47-style assault rifle, a loaded high-capacity magazine and more than $1,000 in cash, according to a federal complaint shared by the Yonkers Times.
The federal complaint says Mehdiyev attempted to get inside the journalist’s home.
Alinejad shared Ring video footage of the man outside her home on Twitter. In one video, he appears to be on the journalist’s front porch while holding his cellphone.
The journalist told CNN that she was “shocked” that her life was endangered twice in the span of a year.
“This is happening in America,” she said, urging the Biden administration to take more and stronger action against Iran. “They tried to assassinate, to kill and kidnap an American citizen on U.S. soil. So I’m not scared of my life, but this is scary this is happening in front of the eyes of the whole world.”