Israel succeeds in neutralizing Iran’s global terror apparatus
On July 18, 1994, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its Lebanese front group, Hezbollah, carried out the worst anti-Semitic terrorist attack since the Holocaust. That day, a Hezbollah operative drove a van loaded with explosives into the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA), a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, killing 85 people and injuring hundreds more. The next day, the IRGC and Hezbollah reportedly blew up Alas Chiricanas Flight 901 over Panama, targeting the plane because most of its 19 passengers were Jewish. The attacks came two years after the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires was blown up in a similar attack.
Since then, however, the IRGC’s global terror apparatus, including Hezbollah, has become embarrassingly effective. July 18 is also the anniversary of the Hezbollah bombing of an Israeli tourist bus in Burgas, Bulgaria in 2012, the only successful IRGC or Hezbollah attack on Jewish or Israeli targets outside of Israel. Israel since the 1990s. While Israel has demonstrated its ability to assassinate almost any IRGC and Hezbollah operatives or Iranian nuclear scientists – or even al-Qaeda leaders working under the auspices of the IRGC – including in Iran itself, Iran suffers from an ever growing backlog of people it needs revenge.
In 2008, an alleged joint CIA-Mossad operation killed Hezbollah terrorist mastermind Imad Mughniyeh in Syria. In response, the IRGC attempted multiple attacks, both assassinations and bombings, across the world. All have failed. As I covered in depth in 2019, planned and attempted attacks from Azerbaijan to Georgia to India, Thailand, Cyprus and across Africa, the Middle East and South America South since 2006 have all been foiled, while the global stockpiling of ammonium nitrate for explosives by Hezbollah has been revealed by Israeli intelligence. In 2012 alone, the year of the Burgas bombing, there were reportedly at least nine IRGC plots against Jewish or Israeli targets around the world, including a previous attempt in Bulgaria.
Despite various reports of inside work, Israel also remains the most likely suspect behind the assassination of Hezbollah’s number two, Mustafa Badreddine, Imad Mughniyeh’s brother-in-law, in Syria in 2016. Syria was also killed by Israel. the previous year, alongside Imad Mughniyeh’s son, Jihad.
When the notorious IRGC-Quds Force commander, Qassem Soleimani, was assassinated by the United States in January 2020 alongside his Iraqi deputy Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, allegedly with the help of Israeli intelligence, a new series of failed plots was launched against American and Israeli targets. to avenge their death. Later that year, Israel assassinated Mohsen Fakrizadeh, the nuclear scientist and alleged IRGC official overseeing Iran’s nuclear weapons program. In May this year, Israel assassinated IRGC Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei.
In 2011, Israel also reportedly assassinated senior IRGC general Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, who oversaw Iran’s missile development, and a significant number of his team. More recently, several “mysterious” deaths of key IRGC and other military officials, as well as nuclear scientists, have been blamed on Israel.
In 2021, an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate Israelis in Cyprus was foiled, while last month at least three plots to kill or kidnap Israelis in Istanbul were foiled. A previous route murdering Israeli businessmen in Turkey in February also failed. A similar plot to assassinate an Israeli businessman and former intelligence agent in Colombia was also foiled.
It’s not just about attacks on Israeli targets – Israel also helped thwart a planned IRGC attack on Maryam Rajavi, the leader of Iran’s nemesis Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), in Paris in 2018 .
It seems that the reason Israel is able to carry out such operations, including the sabotage of infrastructure against Iranian military and nuclear targets, is due to its comprehensive intelligence penetration of the IRGC and all other relevant organizations in Iran at all levels, which has been evident for several years and publicly acknowledged by several Iranian officials. As the New York Times reported in June in an article about the sacking of IRGC intelligence chief Hossein Taeb for these failures:
The Israeli spy network has infiltrated deep into the ranks of Iranian security circles, Iranian officials have acknowledged, with Iran’s former intelligence minister warning last year that officials should fear for their lives, according to Iranian media.
Although constant vigilance remains necessary, Israel appears to have succeeded in neutralizing Iran’s terror apparatus, with the IRGC and Hezbollah unable to carry out revenge attacks or even protect themselves. Although Israel cannot bring back the victims of AMIA or Burgas, it has effectively ensured for the time being that similar transnational attacks against Israelis and Jews remain extremely unlikely in the near future, with a single attack successful in more than two decades – blow after blow against this terrorist network.