New York police link Iran to nine plots against Jewish targets


LONDON, July 20 – New York police believe Iranian Revolutionary Guards or their proxies have been involved so far this year in nine plots against Israeli or Jewish targets around the world, according to restricted police documents.

Reports prepared this week by intelligence analysts for the New York Police Department (NYPD) say three plots were foiled in January, three in February and another three since late June.

Iran has repeatedly denied supporting militant attacks abroad.

The documents, labelled “Law Enforcement Sensitive”, said this week’s suicide bomb attack in Bulgaria was the second plot to be unmasked there this year.

The reports detail two plots in Bangkok and one each in New Delhi, Tbilisi, Baku, Mombasa and Cyprus. Each plot was attributed to Iran or its Lebanese Hizbullah militant allies, said the reports, which were produced following the bombing in Burgas, Bulgaria of a bus carrying Israeli tourists.

Iran on Thursday dismissed “unfounded statements” by Israel linking Tehran to the Burgas blast, saying they were politically motivated accusations which underscored the weakness of the accusers.

Wednesday’s bombing in the Black Sea city is listed in a document entitled Suspected Iranian and/or Hizbullah-linked Plots Against Israeli or Jewish Targets: 2012 Chronology. It is the latest of the nine 2012 plots the document links to the Islamic Republic or its proxies.

US officials say they increasingly concur with Israeli assessments that Iran and its proxies organised the killing of seven Israeli tourists in Burgas by a suicide bomber after they boarded an airport bus.

One US official said Hizbullah, the Iranian-backed Shi’ite Muslim militia, had in the past carried out suicide bombings.

Hizbullah says that while it carried out suicide bombings against Israeli army posts in south Lebanon when it was occupied, until 2000, it has never staged attacks outside Lebanon.

The US official noted that the Burgas bombing occurred on the 18th anniversary of the bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires, which Argentina linked to Iran.

The official said the Bulgaria attack appeared relatively sophisticated as it suggested those behind it had gathered intelligence on possible targets in advance.

A second US official said US federal authorities’ tally of alleged Iran-linked plots in 2012 largely matched the NYPD list.

Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said in the past year there had been “20 Iranian attempts at terrorist attacks abroad, in which there was direct involvement of five Iranians, two Hizbullah operatives”. – (Reuters)