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Monday, May 28, 2012

Iran and Hezbullah targeted diplomats in 7 countries over 13 months... and Jews

The Washington Post has connected the dots between attempts on the lives of diplomats - American and Middle Eastern, including Israelis - in seven countries over 13 months. According to the report, Iran and Hezbullah are behind all of them (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
The threat, many details of which were never made public, appeared to recede after Azerbaijani authorities rounded up nearly two dozen people in waves of arrests early this year. Precisely who ordered the hits, and why, was never conclusively determined. But U.S. and Middle Eastern officials now see the attempts as part of a broader campaign by Iran-linked operatives to kill foreign diplomats in at least seven countries over a span of 13 months. The targets have included two Saudi officials, a half-dozen Israelis and — in the Azerbaijan case — several Americans, the officials say.

In recent weeks, investigators working in four countries have amassed new evidence tying the disparate assassination attempts to one another and linking all of them to either Iran-backed Hezbollah militants or operatives based inside Iran, according to U.S. and Middle Eastern security officials. An official report last month summarizing the evidence cited phone records, forensic tests, coordinated travel arrangements and even cellphone SIM cards purchased in Iran and used by several of the would-be assailants, said two officials who have seen the six-page document.

Strikingly, the officials noted, the attempts halted abruptly in early spring, at a time when Iran began to shift its tone after weeks of bellicose anti-Western rhetoric and threats to shut down vital shipping lanes. In March, Iranian officials formally accepted a proposal to resume negotiations with six world powers on proposals to curb its nuclear program.

“There appears to have been a deliberate attempt to calm things down ahead of the talks,” said a Western diplomat briefed on the assassination plots, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the intelligence. “What happens if the talks fail — that’s anyone’s guess.”


The most recent threat came to light after a foreign spy agency intercepted electronic messages that appeared to describe plans to move weapons and explosives from Iran into Azerbaijan. Some of the messages were traced to an Azerbaijani national named Balagardash Dashdev, a man with an extensive criminal background and, according to a Middle East investigator involved in the case, deep ties to a network of intelligence operatives and militant groups based inside Iran.

Working from inside Iran, officials said, Dashdev in late October began coordinating the shipment of explosives, weapons and cash to Azerbaijani contacts, including relatives and former criminal associates. As U.S. and Middle Eastern intelligence deepened their surveillance, they began to discern what the Middle Eastern investigator described as a “jumble of overlapping plans,” some specifically aimed at Azerbaijan’s small Jewish community and others targeting diplomats and foreign-owned businesses in Baku, the country’s sprawling capital on the Caspian Sea.

During the late fall and early winter, the weapons were smuggled into the country along with at least 10 Iranian nationals recruited to help carry out the plot, U.S. and Middle Eastern officials said.

The Azerbaijani participants had been paid a cash advance and were beginning to conduct surveillance on a list of targets — including a Jewish elementary school, a U.S.-owned fast-food restaurant, an oil company office and “other objects in Baku,” according to a brief statement issued by the Azerbaijani government after a series of raids in which about two dozen alleged accomplices were arrested between January and early March.

The Obama administration acknowledged in March that the U.S. Embassy may have been among the intended targets. But in the months since then, the suspects under questioning revealed extensive details about the “other objects in Baku” that had been on the target list, confirming that the would-be assassins intended to go beyond attacks on buildings.

“They were going after individuals,” said the former State Department official who worked closely with the embassy in Baku. “They had names [of employees]. And they were interested in family members, too.”

The alleged plot leader, Dashdev, would tell investigators that the planned attacks were intended as revenge for the deaths of the Iranian nuclear scientists, attacks that Iran has publicly linked to Israel and the United States. Iran vehemently denied involvement in any assassination plot inside Azerbaijan, and the Iranian Embassy in Baku suggested in a statement that the plot was fiction.
As you might suspect, the attempts to murder Israeli diplomats in New Delhi and Bangkok are part of this story. Read the whole thing.

The Obama administration is attempting to tiptoe between the raindrops on this one. They are trying not to accuse the Iranians. But the truth should be told. Iran is behind much of the terrorism in the world. And it's time for the West to do something about it.

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At 2:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But the truth should be told. Iran is behind much of the terrorism in the world. And it's time for the West to do something about it.

Probably a Mossad set up to implicate Iran. There is no proof, 'connecting the dots' is not proof.

I hope you live to see the results of your blood lust. First Iraq now Iran.

Once we are attacked, or if there is a will to attack, we have the right to retaliate. We don't turn the other cheek. You have made yourself one hell of an enemy. You'll learn the same lesson the Crusaders did.

Since you threaten Iran, Israel is a legitimate target to annihilate, as if the Iraq war wasn't reason enough.

No wonder you're terrified of revenge.

You won't secure Israel even if Israel attacks Iran, which is not going to happen despite your silly fantasies.

Israel will no longer be the dominant military power in the Middle East. Live with it.

We will get even for the destruction of Iraq, and the INTENT for wanting to destroy Iran.

At 2:36 PM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

Someone hunt down and wipe out Chayma and his/her/its entire family.

At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you just make a death threat, 'Empress'? That is illegal you know, even online, and even in the the USA.


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