By Caitlin McFall , David Spunt| Fox News
A New York federal court on Friday unveiled an indictment charging three men on murder-for-hire and money laundering charges for plotting the assassination of a U.S. citizen targeted by the Iranian government.
All three men, associated with an Eastern European criminal organization, are in custody and will stand trial in the U.S., Attorney General Merrick Garland confirmed.
The Department of Defense has not named the victim, though Fox News confirmed the individual is Masih Alinejad, who was the target of a 2021 kidnapping plot that was foiled by the FBI.
“The Victim is a journalist, author and human rights activist, residing in Brooklyn, New York, who has publicized the Government of Iran’s human rights abuses and suppression of political expression, including in connection with continuing protests against the regime across Iran,” he said.
Masih Alinejad, 37, a Britain-based Iranian journalist, poses for a portrait in London, Oct. 8, 2013. Alinejad, a former reporter in Iran, left the country a week before the 2009 elections to study abroad and stayed outside after the unrest and crackdown on reformist press. (REUTERS/Toby Melville)
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Officials said the plot to assassinate victim was the second attempt by Iran to target the American citizen after the FBI thwarted a 2021 kidnapping attempt by Tehran to try and forcibly bring the journalist back to Iran.
Authorities said the indictment exposes “a dangerous menace” to national security and Iran’s attempts to thwart the personal security of Americans.
Check back on this developing story.