2 Arabs found guilty of Baku attack plot

Lebanese men plotted Bak

A court in Azerbaijan on Monday found two Lebanese men guilty of planning attacks on the Israeli embassy in Baku, AFP reported. AFP quoted a court spokesman as saying that "Lebanese citizens Ali Karaki and Ali Najmeddin were sentenced to 15 years each" for plotting attacks on the Israeli and US embassies in the Azerbaijani capital. They also planned to attack a missile-detection station in the north of the country. The two men, who were apparently Hizbullah members, were said to have been ordered to avenge the February 2008 assassination of senior Hizbullah commander Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus. A former intelligence chief at the US Treasury Department, Matthew Levitt, was quoted in a May Los Angeles Times report as saying that the choice of Baku last year reflects Iranian influence. He said that the plot was in its "advanced stages" when it was foiled. "The Iranians have a history of a presence there," he said. "And they wouldn't mind undermining the country, given Azerbaijan's Western leanings." Azerbaijan, which borders Iran, has a good relationship with Israel and other Western nations.