Thai policeman at the scene of Bangkok bombing 390 (R).
(photo credit: Damir Sagolij/Reuters)
Thai security authorities announced on Thursday that they discovered a “direct
connection” linking this week’s attacks against Israeli diplomats in Georgia and
India with the Iranian terrorist cell apprehended in Bangkok on
The cell, which consisted of three Iranian nationals, intended
to target Israeli diplomats, Thai Police Chief Prewpan Dhamapong said.
Thursday, two of the Iranians were charged in court over the alleged plot. They
were caught trying to flee Bangkok after one of the bombs they were assembling
Dhamapong said Muhammad Kharzei, one of the cell
members captured trying to board a plane to Malaysia, had “partially confessed,”
and had acknowledged knowing one of the other suspects.
Also on Thursday,
a Kuwaiti newspaper said that a plot to assassinate Defense Minister Ehud Barak
had been foiled by Singapore authorities in cooperation with the Mossad, during
his visit to the island country earlier this week.
The story in Al-Jarida
claimed that three members of a Hezbollah-Iranian terrorist cell were arrested
by Singapore’s security agencies. Israeli defense officials said they were not
familiar with the report.
According to Al-Jarida, the information on the
plot was obtained by the Mossad, which passed it on to Singapore before Barak’s
visit. The defense minister was in Singapore to attend the annual air show, and
for talks with local officials.
According to the report, the
Hezbollah-Iranian cell had accurate information on Barak’s schedule during his
three-day visit to Singapore, and planned to assassinate him at his hotel. Barak
is now in Japan on a four-day visit and is scheduled to return to Israel on
The Times of India revealed on Thursday that Mossad chief Tamir
Pardo had visited New Delhi just days before this week’s attack but failed to
predict that a diplomat’s car would be targeted. According to the report, Pardo
felt that Israelis in India were safer from possible revenge attacks than their
counterparts in Turkey, Southeast Asia and South America.
the Indian press, Indian Military Chief Gen. V.K.
Singh will visit Israel
next month for talks with IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz.
said Thursday that Iran’s announcement of new nuclear achievements was
exaggerated and meant to fend off action against the Islamic
“They are describing a situation that is better and more
advanced than the one they are in, in order to create a feeling among all the
players that the point of no return is already behind them, which is not true,”
Barak told Israel Radio.
Iran on Wednesday proclaimed advances in nuclear
know-how, including new centrifuges able to enrich uranium much faster – a move
that may heighten its confrontation with the West over suspicions it is seeking
the means to make atomic bombs.
Barak said those announcements were meant
to create the impression that any action taken by world powers to curb Iran’s
nuclear program would be too late. Iran says it is enriching uranium for
“They are definitely making progress, but in order to
deter anyone dealing with them – or perhaps even to make this seem superfluous –
they are priding themselves on achievements that do not yet exist,” Barak
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah denied Israeli accusations
Thursday that his group was behind bombers who attacked Israeli missions in
India and Georgia.
“I assure you that Hezbollah has nothing to do with
this,” he told supporters at an event marking the fourth anniversary of the
assassination of its military commander, Imad Mughniyeh.
reiterated his pledge to respond to Mughniyeh’s killing: “As long as there is
blood in the veins of any [member] of Hezbollah, [then] the day when we will
avenge the killing of Imad Moughniyah will come.”Reuters contributed to