Germany: Iran Plotting Terrorist Attacks on Jewish and Israeli Targets in Western Europe
Iran is responsible for a significant amount of espionage activity in Germany and the planning terrorist attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets, according to the Jerusalem Post.
In a letter sent to a Left Party deputy from Germany’s Interior Ministry, the German government said that it has launched 22 criminal investigations into Iran’s illegal espionage activity — more than China and Turkey, which are each the target of 15 spy inquiries. Only Russia, with 27 pending cases, is involved in more suspected espionage activity than Iran.
In one case, German prosecutors allege that a suspect named Haidar Syed-Naqfi was ordered to identify Jewish and Israeli institutions in Germany and other Western European countries as potential targets for terrorist attacks. In one case, he was accused of monitoring the headquarters of a Jewish newspaper in Berlin. Syed-Naqfi also identified several Israel supporters in Germany, including the former chief of the German-Israel Friendship Society, and a French-Israeli business professor. German authorities believe that Syed-Naqfi’s actions were “a clear indication of … assassination attempt[s].”
Between July 2015 and July 2016, the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps paid Syed-Naqfi more than $2,200.
Half of Germany’s state governments also reported that Iran attempted to acquire information related to nuclear activities in 2015, the Post said. Iran may have also tried to acquire biological and chemical weapons. In one case, Iran approached businesses in the Rhineland-Palatinate state seeking dual-use goods that could be “used for atomic, biological and chemical weapons in a war,” according to that state’s intelligence report.
There are also approximately 250 active Iranian-backed Hezbollah operatives, and about 950 Hezbollah members in total, throughout Germany, according to a 2014 Berlin intelligence report summarized by the Jerusalem Post.
Last month, Bahrain security authorities arrested members of an Iranian-sponsored terrorist cell, accusing them of planning to assassinate senior government officials. The IRGC reportedly provided military training to several of the cell members.
Iran has been accused of plotting numerous terrorist attacks in recent years — mainly through proxies like Hezbollah and IRGC’s Quds Force — in countries such as Egypt, Cyprus, Georgia, Thailand, India and others. In July 2012, a bus bomb widely attributed to Hezbollah killed five Israeli tourists and a bus driver in Bulgaria.
In October 2011, the United Stated disrupted an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the US in Washington, DC, and an attempt to bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies in the US capital.