Man Extradited to U.S. in Suspected Iranian Plot to Kill Activist

The Czech authorities handed over to the United States on Wednesday a man charged with participating in a plot hatched in Iran to assassinate Masih Alinejad, an American human rights activist and a journalist in Brooklyn and a sharp critic of Iran’s repression of women, American officials said.

The man, Polad Omarov, 39, was turned over to representatives of the U.S. government at Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague on Wednesday morning, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the Czech Justice Ministry. He was arrested in the Czech Republic in January 2023.

A federal indictment unsealed in New York last year said Mr. Omarov and three co-conspirators were part of an Eastern European criminal organization known by its members as Thieves-in-Law, which has ties to Iran and in 2022 was tasked with the killing of Ms. Alinejad.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have said that Mr. Omarov, a citizen of Georgia, held a leadership role in the organization and resided in Eastern Europe.

“This matter is going to be over today, brother,” Mr. Omarov said in a message to one of his co-conspirators in July 2022, shortly before another plotter, Khalid Mehdiyev, an Azerbaijani man living in Yonkers, N.Y., was found with a loaded AK-47-style assault rifle outside Ms. Alinejad’s house, the indictment charged. “I told them to make a birthday present for me,” Mr. Omarov wrote.

At the time, Mr. Mehdiyev, at the direction of Mr. Omarov and another man, Rafat Amirov, “was preparing imminently to execute the attack” on Ms. Alinejad, the indictment said.

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