Iranian-American activist at center of kidnapping plot: Iran is ‘scared’ of me

Masih Alinejad sits onstage.
Journalist Masih Alinejad speaks onstage at My Stealthy Freedom during Tina Brown’s 7th Annual Women In The World Summit at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on April 7, 2016 in New York City.

  • Masih Alinejad, an Iranian-American activist, was recently at the center of a foiled kidnapping plot by the Iranian government, according to the Department of Justice.
  • Alinejad told Insider that learning of the government’s plot to kidnap her made her realize the regime is “scared” of her.
  • “That gives me power,” she said in an interview Wednesday afternoon.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Masih Alinejad, the Iranian-American activist, who is at the center of an alleged kidnapping attempt by the Iranian government, said the plot to take her showed the regime is fearful of her and others like her.

“It actually shows me the government is scared of me and that our work is effective,” Alinejad told Insider in an interview Wednesday. “It shows you that the women inside Iran sending me videos on a daily basis exposing corruption – the mothers who are actually talking about the brutal regime who killed their beloved ones – they’ve been hurt and that’s made the Iranian government miserable and that’s made them come and try to kidnap me.”

“That gives me power,” she added.

The US Department of Justice on Tuesday revealed the alleged plot to kidnap Alinejad, who had previously spoken out about harassment and intimidation she and her family received from the Iranian government and Iranian state media for her campaigning against the compulsory hijab and other strict modesty laws faced by women in the country.

According to the DOJ indictment, Iranian agents hired a private security company to surveil her Brooklyn home. One of the accused would-be kidnappers reportedly considered kidnapping Alinejad, putting her in a boat, and taking her to Venezuela, which is an ally of Iran, according to the DOJ.

Alinejad said the attempt to kidnap her has made her more “determined” to continue her work.

“I’m a journalist, I’m not a criminal,” she said. “I just give voice to voiceless people. If I stop that I’m going to betray all the people who rely on me.”

Read the original article on Business Insider