Update: On February 21, the Azerbaijani National Security Ministry announced it had arrested an unspecified number of individuals working for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and Hezbollah for planning attacks against the Israeli Embassy and a Jewish cultural center.
A bombing targeting Israeli embassy personnel in India and a similar attempt in Georgia yesterday come on the heels of recent threats by Iranian officials to attack Israeli interests world-wide.
In New Delhi, a bombing of an Israeli embassy vehicle injured the wife of the Israeli Defense Attaché to India and three others as she drove to pick up her children at school. Another bomb targeting an embassy car in Tbilisi, Georgia, was found and defused before it could explode after a Georgian employee of the embassy notified police of a suspicious object attached to the car.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “Iran and its proxy Hezbollah are behind each of these attacks.” Iran’s ambassador to India called the accusation “untrue and sheer lies, like previous times” and Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman reportedly said that “Israel perpetrated the terror actions to launch psychological warfare against Iran.”
Yesterday’s bombings appear to have been timed to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Imad Mughniyah, Hezbollah’s former Operations Chief. They are the latest in a series of attacks targeting Israeli interests in 2012. On January 12, Thai authorities arrested Artis Hussein, a Swedish-Lebanese man authorities claim is a Hezbollah operative, for allegedly targeting Israeli interests in Asia. After his arrest, Hussein led authorities to a warehouse near Bangkok where over four tons of bomb making supplies were seized.
Less than two weeks later, Azerbaijani authorities announced that they arrested at least two local men for plotting to attack the Israeli ambassador to Azerbaijan and a local rabbi. Azerbaijan’s National Security Ministry indicated that the men are linked to Iranian intelligence agencies and were supplied with a sniper rifle, explosives and money to carry out the attack.
Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano stressed last week that despite increased threats to Jewish and Israeli targets worldwide, there are no specific threats against targets in the United States.