A military vehicle carrying Iranian Zoobin smart bomb (L) and Sagheb missile under pictures of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (R) and Late Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011..
(photo credit: REUTERS/STRINGER)
The Islamic Republic of Iran is spreading its state-sponsored terrorism to Western African countries to attack the US and Western assets, the British Daily Telegraph reported on Wednesday.
“Iran is setting up a network of terror cells in Africa to attack US and other Western targets in retaliation for Washington’s decision to impose sanctions against Tehran, according to Western security officials,” according to the newspaper.The article by veteran defense and security journalist Con Coughlin said that the “new terror network has been established on the orders of Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Quds Force, the elite section of Iran’s Republican Guard Corps that has responsibility for overseas operations.”
The United States government classifies Iran’s regime as the leading international state-sponsor of terrorism.
According to the Telegraph, “The aim of the new terror cell is to target US and other Western military bases on the continent, as well as embassies and officials. The Iranian cells are said to be active in a number of African countries including Sudan, Chad, Ghana, Niger, Gambia and the Central African Republic.”
“Iran is setting up a new terrorist infrastructure in Africa with the aim of attacking Western targets,” a senior Western security source told The Daily Telegraph, adding, “It is all part of Tehran’s attempts to expand its terrorist operations across the globe.”
The report noted “Intelligence officials say Iran has been working on the new terror network for the past three years since signing the nuclear deal on freezing its uranium enrichment activities with the US and other major world powers in 2015.”
Coughlin wrote that “The operation is being organized by Unit 400, a highly specialized section of the Quds Force which is run by Hamed Abdollahi, a veteran Republican Guard officer who was designated by the US as supporting terrorist activity in 2012.”
The African cell is said to be run by Ali Parhoon, another senior Iranian officer in Unit 400. Details of the terror cell’s existence were uncovered following a series of arrests in Chad in April.
“Investigators found that Iran was behind the recruitment and training of men between the ages of 25-35 with the aim of committing terror attacks against Western targets on the continent,” The Telegraph reported. “There are estimated to be around 300 militants who have been recruited by the Revolutionary Guard and have undergone rigorous training at Iranian-run training camps in Syria and Iraq.”
According to the article, “The last batch of recruits were trained at an Iranian base in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf. Iran’s attempts to establish a new terror operation in Africa follow revelations in The Telegraph earlier this month that British security officials caught terrorists linked to Iran stockpiling tons of explosives on the outskirts of London.
“The British authorities believe this cell was also set up in 2015 after Iran signed the nuclear deal.
“US diplomatic officials say a warning has been circulated to American diplomatic and military missions in the countries where Iranian militants are said to be operating, as well as missions of other Western countries, including Britain, France and Italy,” The Telegraph reported.
The Jerusalem Post reported in June that Iran's regime is one of the main state actors involved in espionage in Germany, according to a German intelligence report from the state of Hesse.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is involved in the illicit procurement of technology for weapons of mass destruction, the German intelligence agency for the northern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern wrote in its May report.
“The fight against the illegal proliferation of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction and the materials needed for their manufacture, as well as the corresponding delivery systems [e.g. rockets], including the necessary knowledge, in cooperation with other authorities, is also the responsibility of counterintelligence.”
The intelligence report continued, “From these points of view, it is essentially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [North Korea] and the Syrian Arab Republic that need to be mentioned. The intelligence services of these countries, in many ways, are involved in unlawful procurement activities in the field of proliferation, using globally oriented, conspiratorial business and commercial structures.”
The Mecklenburg-Vorpommern security officials noted that Iran’s regime, the Russian Federation and China are the main engines of intelligence gathering and should be viewed within a “security-related” context.
The report covers the year 2018 and was published just days after a damning Bavarian state intelligence report on Iran’s illicit activities.
According to the Bavarian report, Iran’s regime is “making efforts to expand its conventional arsenal of weapons with weapons of mass destruction.” The Bavarian agents define weapons of mass destruction as “the spread of atomic, biological [and] chemical weapons of mass destruction.”
Iran was termed a “risk country” in the 335-page Bavarian document outlining serious threats to the security and democracy of the state of Bavaria.
German domestic intelligence agencies are situated in each of the country’s 16 states and are roughly equivalent to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).
The Bavarian report noted that the country’s criminal customs police prevented an electronic beam-welding machine from being sold to Iran.
“The machine can be used for the production of [missile] launch vehicles,” said the document.
According to the report, extensive attempts were made “to disguise the actual customer in Iran” with respect to the machine. The real end-user was in Iran but the illicit activity said the end-user company was in Malaysia. The efforts to illegally bypass German export control regulations resulted in a criminal conviction of the director of the Bavarian-based company that sought to sell the welding machine to Iran.
The Bavarian agency said it will continue “to monitor whether Iran consistently and consequently complies with the agreement signed in July 2015.”
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