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30 May, 2024
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Mossad and Cyprus foil Iran's terror cell targeting Jews

Collaborative efforts disrupt Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' plan with strategic iIntervention

Source: The Jerusalem Post

The Mossad helped Cyprus crack an Iranian terror cell, according to sources on Sunday, 25th of June.

The spy agency said that it had assisted Cyprus with thwarting Iran’s plot in order to solve the puzzle of the underlying crimes and method of operation of the terror organization involved.

"Israel praises the thwarting of an Iranian terrorist attack on Cyprus's territory against Israeli targets," the Prime Minister's Office stated. "Israel acts in a variety of ways everywhere to defend Jews and Israelis, and will continue to act to cut off Iranian terror wherever it raises its head, including in Iran, the chief spreader of terror in the world."

Earlier Sunday, Phile News reported that Cyprus thwarted a planned Iranian terrorist attack on Jews on the island state. That initial report said that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps planned the attack, which was stopped in cooperation between Cyprus and Western partners, which named the US and Israel as among the likely partners.

Jerusalem and Nicosia have worked together to foil Iranian plots to attack Israelis in the past. In 2021, they arrested a Russian-Azerbaijani hitman hired by the IRGC to kill Israeli businessmen in Cyprus. Billionaire Teddy Sagi, among others, was evacuated to Israel at the time.

Channel 12 added that the terror cell targeted a Jewish real estate businessman, a Chabad site, and hotels that Israelis tend to visit.

Seven members of the cell were arrested, with one having escaped.

In March, Greek police disrupted a foreign terrorist network operating within the country and arrested two foreign nationals.

According to both Mossad and AFP, the terrorists were plotting to attack Israelis in Greece.“This is another example of Iran trying to use terror against Israeli and Jewish targets overseas,” said the Mossad at the time.

The Mossad had also helped identify the connection between the local terror cell in Greece and Iran’s broader global terror operations.

According to the intelligence agency, “Along with our intelligence partners, we will act in our role without rest to thwart Iran’s intentions to cause harm throughout the world.”

In the Greece instance, the terrorists planned to strike a target of “high symbolic value”: A Jewish synagogue, which also functions as a restaurant, located in the center of Athens, Greek media reported.

In 2022, Greek media noted that Pakistani nationals were involved in an attempted attack on an Israeli in Istanbul, Turkey.

It was unclear if Greek media were referring to the September 2022 joint Turkey-Mossad operation which saved the lives of a large number of Israeli tourists.

In that incident, Iran planned to kidnap several Israeli tourists along with diplomats in Istanbul, including the former ambassador and his wife and already had all operatives and logistical aspects of the operation in place – with some Israelis being spirited away just moments before a hit team would have been bearing down on them.

Turkish intelligence and local police arrested about ten suspects, including sharpshooters and local collaborators, at the Sol Hotel and three other rented apartments in the Istanbul area.

Iranian intelligence assets and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps operatives impersonated students, businessmen, and tourists in order to entrap the Israelis.

Turkey said that Mossad located the targeted Israelis and flew them to Israel in private planes.

While Mossad had noted the dangers and given Ankara time initially to handle the issue alone, counterintelligence operations were ultimately carried out in cooperation between the Mossad and Turkish authorities, whom then-prime minister Naftali Bennett praised.

Seemingly right after the success of Mossad and Turkish intelligence efforts at saving Israelis in Turkey, Iran dismissed the powerful chief of IRGC intelligence, Hossein Taeb.

Countries at a higher risk of experiencing potential Iranian attacks in recent months have included the United Arab Emirates, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Bahrain, and Cyprus, according to the National Security Council.

Cyprus  |  Israel  |  Iran  |  Greece

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