New Iran-linked terror plot uncovered in Azerbaijan (JERUSALEM POST) By YAAKOV LAPPIN 02/22/12)
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The wave of Iranian efforts to attack Israeli interests abroad
appears to be continuing, following an announcement by Azerbaijan on
Tuesday that it had foiled another plot linked to Tehran and
Hezbollah in Baku.
The conspiracy involved a cell linked to the Revolutionary Guards’
Quds Force and the Lebanese terrorist organization, the Azerbaijani
Ministry of National Security said, according to state television.
Authorities detained the cell’s members and seized firearms and
explosives, according to the Azerbaijani TV report.
While some news agencies cited the TV report as saying that the
targets were “foreign,” a Baku-based reporter for Bloomberg quoted
AzTV as saying that the terrorists planned to attack the Israeli
Embassy and a Jewish cultural center.
Channel 10 cited Azerbaijani media as saying that two Iranian Quds
Force members were arrested. In addition, around 20 people, mostly
from the same family, were arrested in connection with the planned
attacks, in a village on the outskirts of Baku, according to the
The suspects received narcotics from Hezbollah to sell in order to
fund the attacks, Channel 10 added.
The Quds Force is headed by Gen. Qassem Suleimani, who reports
directly to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
It is tasked with operating outside of Iranian territory, assisting
and arming proxies such as Hezbollah and orchestrating terrorist
attacks. The Quds Force has been linked to the 1994 bombing of the
AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people were
killed and more than 300 were wounded.
The Quds Force spent years training Hezbollah’s fighters and building
up its arsenal of rockets in south Lebanon, as well coordinating
activities with Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.
Secular Azerbaijan’s ties to Israel and the US have stoked tensions
with neighboring Iran, which protested alleged Israeli intelligence
activity in the oil-rich former Soviet republic, the state-run
Iranian Students News Agency reported recently.
Azerbaijan said last month it thwarted a terrorist plot against the
Israeli ambassador in Baku by a group linked to Iran. Two men were
suspected of plotting to attack the ambassador and a rabbi.
Azeri authorities said the two suspects had been helped by an Iranian
linked to Iran’s intelligence services, who supplied them with guns
On February 12, Iran’s Foreign Ministry accused Azerbaijan of aiding
Israeli intelligence in the assassination of an Iranian nuclear
scientist blown up last month, according to the Fars news agency.
Terrorists in India and Georgia, which neighbors Azerbaijan, targeted
Israeli diplomats last week, planning bombings of the embassies in
New Delhi and Tbilisi.
While Georgian sappers defused the bomb in Tbilisi, an Israeli
diplomat’s wife and her Indian driver were wounded when a bomb
attached to their vehicle exploded.
Israel blamed Iran for the attack. Bloomberg and Reuters contributed
to this report. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 02/22/12)
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