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February 21, 2013

Iranian Terror Plots Continue To Spread Around the Globe

Even as Iran seeks to mend ties with Argentina over the 1994 terrorist attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Iran continues to be implicated in terror plots on Western, Israeli and Jewish targets around the world.

Yesterday, Nigerian security services announced the arrest of three men accused of surveilling targets for a possible Iranian-backed attack in the city of Lagos. The three men, all Nigerians, were tasked with gathering “intelligence on public places and prominent hotels frequented by American and Israelis” according to a State Security Service spokeswoman.  She also claimed that the leader of the cell sent pictures of the local Israeli culture center to his Iranian handlers.  The leader has confessed to spying on behalf of Iran.

Also yesterday, a man on trial in Cyprus for scouting targets where Israelis were likely to be present admitted to being a member of the Iranian-backed terrorist organization Hezbollah.  He was arrested less than two weeks before a bombing in Burgas, Bulgaria, killed five Israelis in July of last year.  Bulgaria officially implicated two members of Hezbollah in the attack earlier this month.

Since the beginning of 2012, Iran and its proxies have been implicated in a series of plots and attacks on Jewish and Israeli targets, including:

  • January 2012: A failed bomb plot targeting Israelis in Thailand was linked to Iran-backed Hezbollah.
  • January 2012: Azerbaijani authorities arrested two men linked to Iranian intelligence over a plot to attack the Israeli Ambassador and a local rabbi.
  • February 2012: Iranian intelligence was linked to the bombing of an Israeli embassy vehicle in India which injured the wife of the Israeli Defense Attaché and three others.
  • February 2012: Israel blamed Iran after a bomb was discovered targeting an embassy car in Georgia; it was defused before it exploded.
  • February 2012: Azerbaijan arrested members of a cell working linked to Iran and Hezbollah in a plot to target the Israeli Embassy and a Jewish cultural center.
  • February 2012: An explosion in Bangkok led to the arrest of three Iranians.
  • March 2012: Azerbaijan arrested members of a cell targeting the Israeli and American embassies on behalf of Iran.
  • April 2012: Intelligence services reportedly searched for Iranian agent in Turkey suspected of plotting attacks on Western, Israeli and Jewish targets.
  • April 2012: India expelled an Iranian national listed by the Iranian consulate as a government employee after he was found casing Israeli and Jewish sites in the city of Pune.
  • June 2012: Two Iranians were arrested in Kenya in possession of chemicals that authorities claimed would be used for bombs. They reportedly were plotting to attack Israeli, American, British or Saudi targets.
  • July 2012: Cypriot authorities arrested a dual Swedish-Lebanese citizen accused of surveilling Israeli targets for a possible attack for Iran-backed Hezbollah. 
  • July 2012: At least two members of Iran-backed Hezbollah killed 5 Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver in the bombing of a tour bus in Burgas, Bulgaria.

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August 10, 2012

Kenyan Al Qaeda Supporters’ Magazine Takes On Jews And Obama

A predominantly Swahili-language online terrorist magazine, apparently written by Kenyan supporters of the Somali-based Al Qaeda affiliate Al Shabaab, features English-language articles that describe Jews as “the worst enemy of Islam,” as well as a “Wanted Dead or Alive” poster of President Barak Obama.

Screenshot from Gaidi Mtaani article

The magazine, titled Gaidi Mtaani, roughly translated as “Terrorism Street,” is replete with the graphics and layout reminiscent of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s English-language terrorist magazine, Inspire. Two issues have been released since April 2012.

The English articles repeatedly describe Kenya’s military incursion into Somalia to combat Al Shabaab as “a clear manifestation of hatred of Muslims” and part of “America’s global war on Islam.”  The magazine claims the objective of this American proxy war is to “Crush Islam or Islamic Renaissance.”

The magazine casts “the Zionist with their American partners” as the beneficiaries of the “crusade” in Somalia and criticizes the Kenyan president for traveling to Israel to secure Israeli cooperation for counterterrorism efforts.  Although the English articles do not directly threaten Israeli or Jews, Israeli interests had previously been targeted by Al Qaeda in Kenya, including an attempt to shoot down an Israeli airliner and an attack on an Israeli-owned resort in 2002.

The authors warn that they will not “differentiate between civilians and combatants” and call on Kenya’s citizens to “reflect on the magnitude of what is yet to come,” citing the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Kenya that killed over 200 people.

Al Shabaab and its supporters have been blamed for repeated grenade and gun attacks in Kenya since Kenya began military operations in Somalia last October.

The Muslim Youth Center, a Kenyan organization supportive of Al Shabaab, has promoted the magazine via its Twitter account and blog, which was taken down shortly after the magazine was advertised.

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