U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announces that the U.S. Justice Department has filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Alphabet’s Google over allegations that the company abused its dominance of the digital advertising business, during an appearance in the Justice Department’s briefing room in Washington, January 24, 2023.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
Three men have been arrested for a murder-for-hire plot that targeted a U.S. journalist and human rights activist of Iranian origin who has been a prominent critic of Iran, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday.
The same victim, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, had been the target of an earlier kidnapping plot. Four people who have ties to Iranian intelligence were indicted in that earlier scheme in 2021.
Masih Alinejad, an exiled Iranian journalist, identified herself in 2021 as the target of the kidnapping plot. Alinejad did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.
The latest plot began in 2022, when members of an Eastern European criminal organization with ties to Iran were enlisted to assassinate the victim, according to an indictment, which does not identify the victim by name.
That group’s participation in the plot was directed by a man named Rafat Amirov, the group’s leader, who lives in Iran and “who was tasked with targeting the Victim by individuals in Iran,” according to the indictment, which was unsealed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
Amirov was taken into custody on Thursday in New York.
Charged with him were Polad Omarov, a resident of the Czech Republican who was arrested there in early January, and Khalid Mediyev, who lives in Yonkers, New York. Mediyeve was arrested last July, authorities said.
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