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Iranian Plot to Kidnap American Journalist Exposed

The following article, Iranian Plot to Kidnap American Journalist Exposed, was first published on Flag And Cross.

You can tell a lot about a nation by the way it treats its journalists.

Sure, I may be a little bit biased; I am an American, after all, and have lived with free speech as a daily right for my entire existence.

But for many in other parts of the world, journalism is a dangerous profession.  Russia and Saudi Arabia almost immediately come to mind, along with the tragic stories of Alexei Navalny and Jamal Khashoggi, respectively.

This week, federal authorities have uncovered yet another targeting of the free press, and the incident hit a lot closer to home for Americans.

Feds say they intervened in an international scheme to abduct an Iranian-American journalist who is now a citizen and resident of the US. Though prosecutors didn’t name the target, Masih Alinejad confirmed to the New York Times that it was her. Known for criticizing the Iranian government, Alinejad said last August that the government was calling for her kidnapping in a social media campaign. She fled the country in 2009 after threats and other troubles related to articles criticizing then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and currently lives in Brooklyn. She tells Reuters she was in a state of shock after learning of the plot eight months ago, and that she doesn’t feel safe even in the US.

The would-be kidnappers all had serious connections to Iran.

Prosecutors charged four Iranians with conspiring to kidnap the journalist, author, and activist, in what the authorities say was a plan orchestrated by an Iranian intelligence network. One suspect, Alireza Shavaroghi Farahani, is an Iranian intelligence official and the other three are described as Iranian intelligence assets.

The incident is a powerful reminder of just how lucky Americans are when it comes to free speech.

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