A deadly bus explosion in Bulgaria targeting Israeli tourists, a bomb plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington, and a ship carrying large quantities of arms to terrorists – what do these have in common?
They are all examples of hostile action by a global Shi’ite terrorist network, which is larger and more organized than any Sunni al-Qaida-inspired group currently in existence.
The following examples include known recent attempted attacks:
- February 2012: Two Iranians turn an apartment in Bangkok, Thailand into an explosives factory and plan to assassinate Israeli diplomats. Their plan is botched after Thai police receive intelligence about the plot. One of the terrorists tries to flee police with explosives and loses his legs after a failed attempt to hurl a grenade at officers. His accomplice is later arrested in neighboring Malaysia while trying to board a flight. The men are currently on trial in Thailand.
- February 2012: The wife of an Israeli diplomat is seriously injured after a terrorist attaches a magnet bomb to her vehicle in New Delhi, India. Indian authorities have arrested an Indian-Muslim journalist with ties to the official Iranian Islamic Republic News Agency in connection with the attack.
- On the same day, an Israeli embassy staffer in Tbilisi, Georgia discovered a bomb underneath his car as he was driving to the embassy Monday morning.
- May 2008: Azerbaijan arrests two Lebanese Hizballah members for plotting attacks on the Israeli embassy in Baku. The men are later sentenced to 15 years behind bars.
- October 2012: Azerbaijan sentences 22 of its citizens to lengthy jail sentences after convicting them of assisting the Iranian Republican Guards Corps to plan attacks on the Israeli and American embassies.
- July 2012: Five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver are murderedby a Hizballah bomber who attacked their tour bus at the resort city of Burgas. The attack occurs just outside of an airport, after the tourists landed on a plane from Israel. Bulgaria later blames Hizballah for the atrocity, and announces a manhunt for two suspected members of the cell who assisted the bomber. The bomber is killed in the blast.
- February 2013: A Cypriot court sentences a Lebanese national to four years in prison after he was caught making reconnaissance trips to the Mediterranean island’s airport, to track and record the movement of Israeli passengers. The plot’s intended victims and methodology closely resemble the ‘soft target’ approach taken by Hizballah in Bulgaria.
- April 2013: An Iranian travelling on a fake Israeli passport is arrested outside of the Israeli embassy in Nepal, after carrying out hostile reconnaissance on the premises.
Israel is by no means the only target.
Read more at IPT
Yaakov Lappin is the Jerusalem Post’s military and national security affairs correspondent, and author of The Virtual Caliphate (Potomac Books), which proposes that jihadis on the internet have established a virtual Islamist state.