4 Israeli embassies closed amid warnings of revenge attack

Unspecified embassies closed due to concrete warning of terrorist attacks meant to coincide with 3rd anniversary of Mughniyeh assassination.

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February 16, 2011 00:50
1 minute read.
Former Hizbullah leader Imad Mughniyeh

imad mughniyeh_311. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

 
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Israel embassies were on heightened alert Tuesday and four were closed at the beginning of the week, following concrete warnings of possible terrorist attacks timed to mark the third anniversary of Hezbollah military commander Imad Mughniyeh’s assassination.

The Foreign Ministry issued a statement Tuesday saying a number of “irregular incidents” had been noticed recently around a number of Israeli diplomatic missions abroad.

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“At this point we think there is a threat against those locations, and it is being dealt with,” the statement read.

“The relevant Israeli authorities are in contact with the relevant authorities in the countries in question.”

The Foreign Ministry did not identify the embassies in question, with one official only saying that for precautionary reasons, the four embassies did not open on Monday.

A travel advisory issued Friday by the National Security Council’s counter-terrorism bureau shed some light on the situation.

Under the heading of “Concrete Threats,” the warning said the threat of attacks against Israel and Jewish targets abroad had increased. It referenced eight countries specifically: Egypt, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, the Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania and Venezuela.



Israel’s embassies have been targets in the past. In 2008, a bomb plot was uncovered against the Israeli Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan.

In 2009, the Los Angeles Times reported that Hezbollah and Iran were behind that plot – which was also believed to have been aimed at avenging Mughniyeh’s assassination.

Mughniyeh was killed by a car bomb in Damascus on February 12, 2008, as he made his way to a celebration at the Iranian cultural center in the Syrian capital.

In addition to serving as Hezbollah’s chief of military operations, he was also the group’s liaison with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Hezbollah and Iran have blamed the Mossad for his death.

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