IDF ups security overseas on Iran attack intel

Intelligence shows Iran, Hezbollah planning attacks on senior officers and official military delegations traveling overseas.

By
May 11, 2012 01:31
2 minute read.
Exploded car at Israeli New Delhi embassy

Exploded car at Israeli New Delhi embassy in India 390R. (photo credit: REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma)

 
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The IDF has significantly boosted security for senior officers and official military delegations traveling overseas in recent months, amid intelligence that Iran and Hezbollah are plotting attacks against such targets, a senior IDF officer revealed on Thursday.

News of the increase in security comes following a recent wave of attempted bombing attacks that Iran and Hezbollah are believed to have tried to carry out in Thailand, Georgia, India and Azerbaijan. All of the plots were foiled except a bombing in New Delhi that injured the wife of a Defense Ministry official stationed in the Israeli Embassy.

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“The threat has significantly increased over the past half-a-year,” the senior officer said. “There seems to be – as recent attempts have shown – an increase in motivation to carry out such an attack.”

In the IDF, the Operations Directorate is responsible for the security of senior officers and military delegations in Israel and abroad. For this purpose, the directorate operates a special unit of bodyguards – known as the General Staff Security Unit – to protect senior officers and delegations.

“We are aware of this threat and take all of the necessary precautions,” the officer said, adding that in some cases the IDF even cancels officer trips to specific countries due to intelligence about potential Hezbollah or Iranian activity there.

Hezbollah is believed to be attempting to attack Israel in order to avenge the 2008 assassination of its military commander Imad Mughniyeh, who was killed in a car bombing in Damascus that was attributed to the Mossad.

Iran is also believed to be actively seeking revenge for the assassination of a number of nuclear scientists over the past two years.

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“It is not limited just to Iran and Hezbollah – but also Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Global Jihad elements would view an attack against an IDF officer or delegation overseas a success,” the officer said.

While Mughniyeh was held in high regard within Hezbollah, the Israeli defense establishment believes that there are other motives behind Hezbollah and Iran’s desire to attack Israel overseas.

One of the motives is understood to be part of Iranian efforts to deter the West from launching a military strike against its nuclear facilities by showing the world that together with its main proxy – Hezbollah – it can strike anywhere it wants, even as far as India and Thailand.

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