Tehran a 'global terror threat' orchestrating a series of attempts to harm Israelis abroad - FM Cohen Calls For International Community to Come Together To Oppose Iran's Terror Activities
Pictured: Fawzan Mosa Khan, an Afghan arrested in Azerbaijan on suspicion of planning an attack on Israel's embassy. (Screenshot, used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)Pictured:
Stop Iran Now/Jerusalem Post/Times of Israel/I24 News - July 16, 2023
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Wednesday said Iran was responsible for a foiled plot to attack the Israeli embassy in Azerbaijan.
“Tehran stands behind the attempt,” Cohen said in a statement during an official visit to Serbia.
“Iranian terror is a global threat, as we saw in the past few days in Azerbaijan in an attempted attack against the Israeli Embassy in Baku, as well as in recent months in Cyprus and Greece in attempted attacks against Israelis and Jews,” Cohen said, adding Iran had funded and issued instructions to the terror cell that attempted the attack.
Cohen called for the international community to come together to oppose Iran’s terror activities.
Azeri security forces arrested a 23-year-old Afghan national on suspicion of planning the attack on the embassy in Baku, the State Security Service announced Monday.
The statement did not specify that he was suspected of targeting Israel’s mission, but The Times of Israel has learned that he was observed near the embassy in the Hyatt Regency hotel and was questioned by Azeri officials.
“Fawzan Mosa Khan, a citizen of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, born in 1990, in conspiration with other individuals, has been planning to commit a terrorist act accompanied by an explosion, fire or other similar events resulting in the death of people, health injuries, property damage and other socially dangerous incidents in order to create panic among the population, influence decision-making by state authorities and international organizations,” the State Security Service said in a statement.
Azerbaijan said that Khan came from “a foreign country” in order to surveil “a third country embassy,” recruit a cell and obtain weapons and funding.
The security service was working to find other members of Khan’s cell.
Though the statement did not identify the country from which Khan arrived, neighboring Iran has been using third-party nationals to plan terror attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets.
Last month, Cypriot intelligence services revealed they had foiled an Iranian plot against Jews and Israelis.
In March, Greek police arrested two Pakistani nationals who were allegedly planning mass-casualty terrorist attacks against a Jewish restaurant and Chabad House in Athens.
In November of last year, Georgian security officials revealed they had foiled a recent attempt by the extraterritorial arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, the Quds Force, to kill a prominent Israeli-Georgian living in the capital Tbilisi.
The attempt followed other Iranian plots to harm Israelis in the region. In June of 2022, Turkey and Israel foiled a plan to attack Israelis in Istanbul, and in October 2021, there was an attempt to kill Israeli businessmen in Cyprus. According to reports, the hired killer was of Azerbaijani origin and had arrived in Cyprus on a flight from Russia using a Russian passport.
This case in Azerbaijan has Iranian fingerprints all over it, as if Tehran did not want to hide any traces of its involvement. The very fact that the perpetrator mentioned “other brothers” that “have attempted” to commit such terror acts before and got jailed for 10 years is evident enough: All the previous attempts to attack Israelis in Baku were plotted by Tehran, or Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) to be exact.
In 2007, DTX apprehended six terrorists, including two Lebanese citizens. They received prison terms ranging from 12 to 15 years for plotting an attack on the Israeli embassy in Baku and on a Russia-rented radar station in northern Azerbaijan. They were linked to the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah and IRGC.
In 2012, another three terrorists were arrested - one of which was an Iranian citizen - who brought weapons and explosives to commit attacks on Israelis and other foreigners working in Baku. Another clue suggesting the direct involvement of Iran is Khan being an Afghani national. Thousands of Afghans have been recruited into Iran's Liwa Fatemiyoun, which has been used as cannon fodder in the Syrian civil war.
The Fatemiyoun, an IRGC-backed military force that has fought in Syria since 2013 and has tens of thousands of troops, has drawn its members primarily from Shiite Afghan communities. Recruits are motivated mainly by economic deprivation and vulnerabilities due to their migrant status and, to a lesser degree, by religious sentiments. After Syria, the most effective fighters were instructed by the IRGC to fight for its agenda in other regions on the map – Azerbaijan is one of them.