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Alleged organiser of plot to kill Iranian-U.S. journalist extradited



Alleged organiser of plot to kill Iranian-U.S. journalist extradited

The leader of an Eastern European organised crime gang accused in the failed murder-for-hire plot of Iranian dissident journalist, Masih Alinejad has been extradited to the U.S. to face justice.

The U.S. federal officials said this on Wednesday.

Polad Omarov’s arrest meant that all three suspects accused of participating in the July 2022 attempt on Alinejad’s life at her Flatbush, Brooklyn in New York City.

The homes are now in federal custody.

Omarov was located and arrested in the Czech Republic in January 2023 and extradited Wednesday from Prague to the U.S. to await his presentment in Manhattan federal court.

The New York Daily News could not identify his lawyer.

“Omarov is alleged to have brazenly attempted to murder an outspoken critic of Iran’s human rights abuses right here on American soil,’’ Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.

“The audacious alleged plot to kidnap and murder the victim are indicative of Iran’s policies of aggressive suppression and violence against anyone who speaks against them.’’

Speaking from Prague, FBI director Christopher Wray said the feds had held “Iranian actors accountable for their brazen plot to assassinate a U.S. citizen on American soil.’’

Alinejad, a journalist, author and human rights activist who had been a vocal critic of the Iranian regime’s oppression of women, thanked U.S. authorities and said she looked forward to testifying at the trial.

“My adopted country has once again saved me from the murderous regime of my birth country Iran,’’ Alinejad tweeted.

Omarov, 39, is accused alongside Rafat Amirov, 45, of directing a New York-based associate to stalk Alinejad round-the-clock in summer 2022.

She was taken out at the behest of individuals in Iran, according to charging papers.

Prosecutors allege Iran-based Amirov enlisted Omarov to help pull off the killing while he was in Europe and that he then recruited Yonkers-based Khalid Mehdiyev, 27.

He sent him 30,000 dollars to buy a cache of weapons.

On July 28, 2022, Mehdiyev was preparing imminently to execute the attack when the journalist suspected she wasn’t safe and fled her neighbourhood.

Cops pulled Mehdiyev over about 15 minutes later and discovered an AK-47 assault rifle, 66 rounds of ammunition, 1,100 dollars in cash and a ski mask in his vehicle, court documents charge.

He’s been in custody since then, pleading not guilty to related charges last February.

Amirov had been held in custody since last year and had pleaded not guilty to related charges.

Alinejad, who fled Iran in 2009, was previously targeted in a failed kidnap plot.

Assailants plotted to take her to Venezuela from the East River in a speed boat and lock her up in an Iranian prison, according to the feds.