A global Shi’ite terrorism network made up of Iranian Quds Force operatives and
Hezbollah continues to target Israelis overseas, the National Security Council’s
counterterrorism bureau warned on Wednesday, ahead of the Passover vacation
Twenty-seven countries have been designated by the bureau as
being under a travel alert of varying severity.
The Sinai Peninsula is
designated as a place with a very high, concrete threat level, and the bureau is
urging Israelis to stay away from the area due to a plethora of intelligence
leads pointing to kidnapping plots and terrorist threats.
Nigeria and Azerbaijan have been classified under the “ongoing potential threat”
category, which is the third most severe warning type.
Dozens of terrorist
attacks around the world have been thwarted this year, a bureau source said on
Wednesday, adding that Iran and Hezbollah have clearly divided up attacks
between them. In this way, Iranian agents target Israeli embassies and official
state symbols – as they did in New Delhi in 2012 – while Hezbollah attempts to
murder less protected Israeli civilian tourists – as occurred in Burgas,
Bulgaria, last year, when a Hezbollah terrorist cell bombed a tour bus, killing
five Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver.
The source stressed that the
travel alerts are based on information made available from Israel’s intelligence
services, adding that some terrorist attacks have been abandoned by the plotters
after alerts have been issued exposing the threat.
“Shi’ite terrorism is
a threat to Israeli citizens and Diaspora Jews. The threat is being sponsored by
Iran and Hezbollah. Over the past two years, there has been an increased effort
to carry out attacks,” the source said. “We are identifying a systematic
campaign operating with the greatest vigor... They are fully coordinated. It is
Additionally, Israel has been in touch with foreign government
and local police officials in countries such as Cyprus (where a Hezbollah
operative is on trial for gathering intelligence ahead of an attack on
tourists), Greece, Turkey, Thailand and India.
The source said any
country hosting a large amounts of Israeli tourists has been contacted by Israel
in order to request a stepped-up security presence. One such meeting was held
last month in India, where some 45,000 Israeli tourists head every
Overall, the threat level has remained static in recent years, the
He stressed that the bureau was not telling Israelis to
stay at home, but rather to be aware of safety tips as they enjoy their
In February, Nigeria’s domestic intelligence service
announced the arrest of an Iran-backed terrorist cell plotting to launch attacks
on Israeli and American targets in the African state.
The State Security
Service named Abdullahi Mustapha Berende and two other Nigerians as the
suspects, after Berende made several suspicious trips to Iran and interacted
with Iranians in a “high-profile terrorist network” there.
sponsors requested that he identify and gather intelligence on public places and
prominent hotels frequented by Americans and Israelis to facilitate attacks,”
SSS spokeswoman Marilyn Ogar said in a statement.
“There is conclusive
evidence that Berende, in collaboration with his Iranian handlers, was involved
in grievous crimes against the national security of this country.”
2010, Nigerian security officials intercepted an Iranian arms shipment
containing 13 containers of weapons, including artillery rockets and rifle
rounds. An investigation found that the shipment had originally come from the
Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. Those arrested in connection with the incident
included an alleged Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps member and three Nigerian
In Syria, the source said, Sunni global jihadi groups were
becoming a stronger force, and have been placed under the watch of intelligence
services and the IDF.
“We’re not under the illusion that they won’t
direct their fire toward Israel in the future,” the source said.