'Azerbaijan arrests 22 over terror plot'

Azeri National Security Ministry: Suspects cooperated with Iranto carry out attacks on Israeli, US embassies, AFP reports.

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March 14, 2012 22:13
1 minute read.
Government building in Baku, Azerbaijan

government building in baku, azerbaijan_370. (photo credit: Reuters)

Azerbaijan announced on Wednesday that it has arrested 22 suspects connected to an alleged Iranian terror plot to attack Israeli targets in the country.

Twenty-two Azeris were arrested in connection with the Iranian-led plot to attack the embassies of Israel and the United States in the capital city of Baku, AFP reported.

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Israel has placed all of its diplomats and delegations on high alert in recent months and particularly since last month’s Iranian bombing plots discovered in India, Georgia and Thailand. On Tuesday, the Counter-terrorism Bureau advised Israelis to avoid traveling to Turkey because of the threat of an impending terrorist attack there as well.

The announcement of the arrests came a day after Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar Abiyev visited Iran to alleviate Tehran’s concerns over reports that Baku recently signed a $1.6 billion arms deal with Israel.

“We will not allow Azerbaijan’s soil to be used against Iran under any conditions,” Abiyev was quoted by the ISNA news agency as saying after meeting his Iranian counterpart Ahmad Vahidi.

Wednesday’s announcement was the second round of arrests made in connection with an Iranian plot to attack Israel in Azerbaijan. On February 21, Baku announced it had arrested a number of people with links to Iran and Hezbollah, who were planning to attack foreigners, though reports did not identify Israeli or US targets.

State TV said the suspects had bought weapons and explosives, and had gathered intelligence on potential targets.

According to reports, one of those arrested was an member of Iran’s Quds Force, the Revolutionary Guard Corps division responsible for overseas operations.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to the report.


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