Iran ‘Avenger’ defendant faces competency review

Published on: March 24, 2022, 01:01h.

Last update: March 24, 2022, 01:01 a.m.

UCLA student who allegedly stabbed her internet date during sex in a Nevada hotel room to ‘avenge’ the assassination of an Iranian general will undergo a competency evaluation to see if she is fit to stand trial.

Nika Nikubin
Unlikely Terrorist: Nika Nikoubin is accused of stabbing her date in the neck in retaliation for the US drone attack that killed Qassem Soleimani. (Picture: Facebook)

Nika Nikoubin, 21, will appear before a Nevada state judge on April 15, according to court documents. The judge will determine if she understands the charges against her. These include attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

Nikoubin remains in custody on $60,000 bail following his arrest for the March 5 attack at the Sunset Station casino-hotel in Henderson.

basic instinct

Nikoubin met his anonymous victim on the dating site Plenty of Fish and the couple agreed to meet at the casino, where they rented a room. According to the arrest report, they started drinking and then started having sex.

Nikoubin climbed on top of the man and blindfolded him before turning off the lights, police said. At one point, the victim felt his date reach for something on the bedside table, then felt pain in the side of his neck.

He screamed and Nikoubin fled from the hotel room. Realizing he had been stabbed, the victim staggered down the hall to ask for help. Eventually, he survived his injuries.

Meanwhile, Nikoubin told a casino employee that she had just stabbed someone.

When police arrived, she told them she had attacked the man in retaliation for the killing of Qassem Soleimani in a January 2020 targeted US drone strike in Iraq.

Designated Terrorist

Soleimani was the head of the Quds Expeditionary Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and considered by some analysts to be the second most powerful man in Iran after Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

In 2005, the US government declared Soleimani a “terrorist or supporter of terrorism”. His death, ordered by then US President Donald Trump, was controversial. It was the first targeted drone killing of a senior foreign government official on third-country territory, and it may have been illegal under US and international law, critics say.

The US government said Soleimani was planning attacks on US embassies.

The Iranian military responded by launching ballistic missiles at two US bases in Iraq. The attacks caused no casualties but caused traumatic brain damage to more than 100 US soldiers, according to the Pentagon.

Nikoubin’s social media profiles describe her as an unlikely terrorist. A native of Lubbock, Texas, she was a member of her high school’s cheerleading squad and ran for school president before attending UCLA to study philosophy. While there, she served as president of a college debate team that competed in national competitions.

It is not known if his victim had ties to the US military.

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