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IRAN: US Charges 3 In Plot To Kill Iranian-American Author In NYC

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. According to officials, the Justice Department has charged three men in an alleged plot to kill an Iranian American author and activist who has spoken out against human rights violations in Iran.

Rafat Amirov, 43, of Iran, Polad Omarov, 38, of the Czech Republic and Slovenia, and Khalid Mehdiyev, 24, of Yonkers, New York, were charged in an unsealed indictment in federal court in New York with money laundering and murder-for-hire. The three men were detained, and one was awaiting extradition to the United States.

Masih Alinejad, a New York-based Iranian opposition activist, journalist, and writer, confirmed that she was the intended target.

“I’m not scared,” Alinejad said after U.S. authorities announced the charges. “I want to tell you that the Iranian regime believes that by attempting to kill me, they will silence other women or me. But they only serve to strengthen me, to make me more powerful in my fight for democracy and to give a voice to the brave women who are fighting the Islamic Republic with guns and bullets in the streets.”

She claimed FBI agents read her the messages the plotters exchanged, including a final one that said, “It’s going to be done today.”


Iran Media Did Not Acknowledge The Plot

Iran’s U.N. mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the charges. Late Friday, Iranian state media did not immediately acknowledge the alleged plot.

While the alleged plotlines in Iran, the indictment does not directly blame the country’s theocracy for the alleged murder-for-hire.

Nonetheless, the case “follows a disturbing pattern of Iranian government-sponsored efforts to kill, torture, and intimidate activists into silence for speaking out for the rights and freedoms of Iranians around the world,” according to White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

Mehdiyev was caught last year while driving around Masih’s Brooklyn neighborhood with a loaded “AK-47-style” rifle and a lot of bullets. At the time, Alinejad told The Associated Press that authorities had told her that the man was looking for her and that a home security video had captured him skulking outside her front door.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said when he announced the charges, “The Iranian government has previously gone after dissidents around the world, including the victim, who are against the regime’s violations of human rights.”


Victim Had Kidnapping Plots Against Her

He claimed that “individuals in Iran” tasked the defendants with carrying out the assassination plot.

“The victim made public the Iranian government’s human rights violations, discrimination against women, suppression of democratic participation and expression, and use of arbitrary imprisonment, torture, and execution,” Garland said. “This activity posed such a threat to the Iranian government in 2019 that the chief judge of Iran’s Revolutionary courts warned that anyone who sent videos criticizing the regime to the victim would be sentenced to prison,” according to the report.

He claimed that in 2021, an Iranian intelligence official and three others were charged with plotting to kidnap the victim.

All three defendants are Azerbaijanis, a country with a border and cultural ties to Iran.

Amirov appeared in court for the first time in New York, and his attorney, Michael Martin, entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf. During the brief court appearance, the defense did not immediately request bail. Amirov used a Russian interpreter because he speaks it, although it is not his first language.


Evolving Threat And Brazen Behavior

Mehdiyev’s attorney declined to comment on Friday. Omarov was arrested earlier this month in the Czech Republic. It was unclear whether he had an attorney speaking on his behalf.

“This case also highlights Iran’s evolving threat and increasingly brazen behavior,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. She also mentioned charges filed against members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in connection with an alleged plot to assassinate a former U.S. national security adviser and charges filed against Iranian hackers accused of targeting utility companies.

FBI Director Christopher Wray says that Iranian intelligence and security services have been using more “transnational repression tactics” in recent years to go after political opponents and critics. He said that tactics in Iran include surveillance, cyber operations, intimidation of family and friends, and kidnapping and assassination plots.

“The Iranian government’s efforts to silence its critics are not limited to Iranian borders,” Wray said.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran are higher than usual, with the Biden administration’s efforts to resurrect a 2015 deal limiting Iran’s nuclear program failing and the U.S. condemning Iran’s targeting of protesters in Iran. Iran is also said to have given Russia drones that Russia has used to attack civilian targets in Ukraine.


Calls For Congress To Do Something

Alinejad said that she hoped the ruthlessness of Iranians plotting to kill a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil would persuade President Joe Biden to act on calls from some in Congress and elsewhere to list Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.

“They are challenging U.S. authorities to see what the consequences will be if no punishment is imposed, and there is no reason for them to stop killing innocent Americans or innocent Iranians,” she said.

Alinejad was a journalist in Iran for many years. Since he left the country after the disputed presidential election and crackdown in 2009, Iran’s theocracy has been after him.

She is a prominent figure on Farsi-language satellite channels abroad that criticize Iran, and she has worked as a contractor for the Voice of America’s Farsi-language network, which the United States funds, since 2015. She became a citizen of the United States in October 2019.


Three Defendants Are Members Of An Eastern European Criminal Organization

Her “White Wednesday” and “My Stealthy Freedom” campaigns have seen women film themselves in public in Iran without head coverings or hijabs, which can result in arrests and fines. She has also made the voices of Iranian protesters louder since the death of Mahsa Amini in September. Amini died after being arrested by the morality police and was later found dead.

According to court documents, the three defendants are members of an Eastern European criminal organization with ties to Iran.

According to the indictment, Amirov, a group leader living in Iran, was “tasked” with targeting her by unnamed people. Garland declined to elaborate on where the orders came from. Amirov turned to Omarov, who lives in Eastern Europe, and together they brought Mehdiyev, who lives in New York, and paid him $30,000 in cash. US authorities say that Mehdiyev got the gun and started watching her house in July.

For more than a week, he took photos and videos and devised ways to entice her outside, according to the indictment. Mehdiyev described himself as being “at the crime scene” at one point.

Alinejad, on the other hand, left her house on July 28 after noticing something suspicious. When Mehdiyev attempted to leave, he was stopped by a New York police officer. The gun, ammunition magazines, cash, and a black ski mask were discovered by police. He was taken into custody on a federal firearms charge.






Judge Rules Donald Trump Defrauded Banks And Insurers While Building Real Estate Empire

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NEW YORK — On Tuesday, a judge ruled that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to prominence and the presidency, and he ordered that some of the former president’s companies be removed from his control and dissolved.

In a civil lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Trump and his company deceived banks, insurers, and others by grossly overvaluing his assets and inflating his net worth on documents to secure agreements and loans.

As punishment, Engoron ordered that some of Trump’s business licenses be revoked, making it difficult or impossible for them to conduct business in New York, and he stated that an independent monitor would continue to supervise Trump Organisation operations.

Without a successful appeal, the order would revoke Trump’s authority to make strategic and financial decisions regarding several of his most valuable properties in the state.

Trump railed against the decision in several statements, labeling it “un-American” and part of an ongoing plot to harm his reelection campaign.

He wrote on his Truth Social site, “My civil rights have been violated, and a federal or state appellate court must reverse this horrible, un-American decision.” He asserted that his company had “done a magnificent job for New York State” and “conducted business flawlessly,” describing the event as “A very sad day for the New York State System of Justice!”


On Tuesday, a judge ruled that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to prominence and the presidency.

His attorney, Christopher Kise, stated that an appeal would be filed, labeling the decision “completely disconnected from the facts and governing law.”

A few days before starting a non-jury trial in James’ lawsuit, Engoron’s ruling is the strongest rejection of Trump’s carefully manicured image as an affluent and intelligent real estate magnate turned political powerhouse.

Engoron discovered that Trump, his company, and key executives repeatedly lied about his wealth in his annual financial statements, garnering benefits such as favorable loan terms and reduced insurance premiums.

The judge stated that these tactics crossed the line and violated the law, refuting Trump’s argument that a disclaimer on the financial statements absolved him of wrongdoing.

“In the world of the defendants, rent-regulated apartments are worth the same as unregulated apartments; restricted land is worth the same as unrestricted land; restrictions can vanish into thin air; a disclaimer by one party casting blame on another party exonerates the other party’s lies,” Engoron wrote in his 35-page ruling. This is a fantasy world, not the actual universe.


On Tuesday, a judge ruled that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to prominence and the presidency.

Manhattan prosecutors considered filing criminal charges for the same conduct but ultimately decided against it, leaving James no choice but to sue him and seek penalties designed to impede his and his family’s ability to conduct business.

The summary judgment rendered by Judge Engoron resolves the primary claim in James’ lawsuit, but several others remain. In a trial beginning on October 2, he will deliberate on these claims and James’ request for $250 million in penalties. Trump’s attorneys have requested a postponement from the Court of Appeals.

“Today, a judge ruled in our favour and found that Donald Trump and the Trump Organisation engaged in years of financial fraud,” James said in a statement. “We look forward to presenting the rest of our case at trial.”

In their motion for summary judgment, Trump’s attorneys argued that there was no evidence that their client’s actions had injured the public. They also argued that the statute of limitations prohibited many of the lawsuit’s allegations.

Noting that he had previously rejected these arguments, Engoron compared them to the narrative of the film “Groundhog Day.” He fined five defense attorneys $7,500 each as punishment for “engaging in repetitive, frivolous” arguments but denied James’ request to sanction Trump and other defendants.

James, a Democrat, filed a lawsuit against him and the Trump Organisation a year ago, alleging them of routinely inflating the value of his assets, including skyscrapers, golf courses, and his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, by billions.

Engoron discovered he consistently overvalued Mar-a-Lago, exaggerating its value by up to 2,300% on one financial statement. Additionally, the judge reprimanded Trump for misrepresenting the size of his Manhattan apartment. Trump asserted that his three-story Trump Tower penthouse was nearly three times larger than it was and valued it at $327 million.


On Tuesday, a judge ruled that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to prominence and the presidency.

“A disparity of this magnitude, by a real estate developer calculating his own living space over decades, can only be considered fraud,” wrote Engoron.

Eric Trump insisted on X following the ruling that his father’s claims about Mar-a-Lago were accurate, writing that the Palm Beach estate is “estimated to be worth well over a billion dollars, making it arguably the most valuable residential property.” He described the decision and the lawsuit as “an attempt to destroy my father and evict him from New York.”

Under the terms of the ruling, the limited liability companies that control some of Trump’s most valuable properties, such as 40 Wall Street, will be dissolved, and a receiver will assume control over their operations. Trump would lose the authority to recruit or fire employees, rent office space, and make other crucial decisions.

Kise stated after the decision, “The decision seeks to nationalise one of the most successful corporate empires in the United States and seize control of private property despite the fact that there is no evidence of any default, breach, late payment, or complaint of harm.”

The presumptive Republican nominee for next year’s election faces several legal issues, including James’ suit. In the past six months, he has been indicted four times: in Georgia and Washington, D.C., for conspiring to overturn his 2020 election loss, in Florida for stockpiling classified documents, and in New York for falsifying business records related to hush money paid on his behalf.

In a separate criminal case last year, the Trump Organisation was convicted of tax fraud for assisting executives to evade taxes on perks such as apartments and vehicles. The company received a $1.6 million sanction. Allen Weisselberg, Trump’s longtime finance chief, pled guilty and served five months in prison.

James’ office previously charged Trump with misusing his charitable foundation to advance his political and business interests. As a penalty, Trump was ordered to donate $2 million to charity, while his charity, the Trump Foundation, was dissolved.


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Trudeau Liberals Hold Late-Night Meeting On Fighting Back

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When Trudeau calls a late-night caucus meeting, things could be better.

According to an invitation obtained by the Toronto Sun, on Tuesday, the Trudeau Liberals gathered their caucus for an “information session.”

Brad Redekopp, a member of the Conservative Party, posted a photo of government vehicles waiting outside West Block to transport ministers home after the event.

To comprehend how peculiar this is, one must comprehend the tempo of Official Ottawa. This late-night meeting is uncommon, particularly the night before the routinely scheduled weekly caucus meetings.

House Speaker Anthony Rota resigned due to the invitation and recognition of 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address to the Ukrainian Parliament. As is now common knowledge, Hunka served in a Nazi SS division during World War II.

His presence in the audience has caused Canada and Ukraine interminable humiliation. Vladimir Putin’s Russia has justified its invasion of Ukraine by claiming that there are Nazis who must be eradicated. Zelenskyy’s support for an SS division member has provided Putin with the propaganda tools he desires.

The Russian government is already circulating false rumors that the Ukrainians have issued a commemorative stamp for Hunka.

When Trudeau calls a late-night caucus meeting, things could be better.

As of Tuesday evening, the PMO verified that he and Zelenskyy had not spoken since the Parliament incident. While it is understandable that Trudeau would not want to apologize to Canadians in front of the cameras, it is shocking that he has not contacted his “good friend” Zelenskyy since the story broke.

Ukraine is not the only issue currently plaguing the leader and his team.

India’s foreign minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, indirectly accused Canada of harboring militants during a speech at the United Nations. In a subsequent interview, he reiterated that the Trudeau administration has provided no proof or evidence to substantiate its claim that India was involved in the June execution of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British Columbia.

The Modi administration has utilized Indian media as a weapon against Trudeau domestically and internationally. In a conflict of public relations, Trudeau and, by extension, Canada are losing.

The Hindu Forum of Canada’s attorney sent a letter to the government on Tuesday, expressing safety concerns and requesting that Nijjar ally Gurpatwant Singh Pannu be denied entry into the country. At approximately the same time, the Muslim Association of Canada criticized Trudeau for his remarks regarding parental demonstrations over gender issues in schools last week. MAC condemned Trudeau’s stance.


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2023: Travis King In US Custody After North Korea Expulsion

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King is in custody. In a statement, Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder thanked the Swedish and Chinese governments for their assistance in securing the release of Pte. King.

As there are no diplomatic ties between the United States and North Korea, the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang has traditionally negotiated on behalf of the United States.

During the King case, a Swedish embassy spokesman confirmed that Sweden acted “within its role as a protective power” for the United States in North Korea.

The US Department of State and the White House did not comment on the matter immediately.

According to Reuters, a spokesman for the King family stated that “no substantive comment” was expected at this time.

His relatives have previously informed US media that he faced discrimination while serving in the United States military.

According to reports, his mental health deteriorated during his time in South Korean custody.


Travis King In US Custody After North Korea Expulsion.

Claudine Gates, the mother of Pte. told the Associated Press last month that her son had “so many reasons to come home.”

She stated, “I cannot imagine him ever wanting to stay in Korea when he has family in the United States.”

Pte King’s release by North Korea after 71 days is rapid compared to other Americans the country has previously detained.

Analysts hypothesized that Pyongyang may have used the American soldier as a diplomatic bargaining tool.

Mick Mulroy, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and CIA paramilitary officer, told the BBC that Pte King’s return to US custody is “a good thing,” even though he “is a young man who made mistakes.”

Mr. Mulroy continued, “He is an American soldier, so it was imperative that we did everything possible to bring him home.”



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