A former Israeli intelligence officer in Colombia has been targeted by Iran as revenge for the Mossad hit which used a remote-control gun to assassinate the regime’s leading nuclear scientist.
Iranian agents had been planning to murder their target in the Colombian capital Bogota. The plot was foiled two months ago after a tip-off from a western intelligence service, but has only now come to light.
The intended target was a former Israeli intelligence officer who later became a diplomat before starting a business selling surveillance technology in Colombia. He has now been flown out to safety, according to intelligence sources.
The plot is believed to have been motivated by the regime’s wish to take revenge for the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in November last year.
Mossad is said to have used a one-ton remote-controlled gun which was assembled bit by bit over eight months, as reported in a world exclusive by the JC earlier this year.
American citizens were also feared to be targets of the Iranian operation, according to media in Colombia. Earlier reports had identified the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah as being responsible for the plot.
In an interview with El Tiempo, the Colombian defence minister Diego Molano said: “Two months ago a situation arose which resulted with the capture and expulsion of two criminals sponsored by Hezbollah who had intentions to commit a criminal act in Colombia.”
However, it is now understood that the plotters were in fact agents of the Quds Force, the terrorist branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) which is known to have conducted operations in countries all over the world.
Intelligence sources say that the operation used methods typical of the Quds Force, involving cooperation with local criminal organisations.
The foiled Bogota attack comes after a series of similar plots in Africa had been uncovered over recent months before they succeed in taking out their targets. Israeli businessmen in Senegal, Ghana and Tanzania were in the crosshairs of terror cells linked to Iran.
They had been kept under surveillance by undercover operatives who made notes of such details as regular visits to the gym and meetings with friends, in an attempt to find vulnerable moments in their routines in which they could be attacked.
Sources told Israel Hayom that Iran sending death squads to murder Israelis on foreign soil is a serious violation of the sovereignty of the countries in which the attacks were to take place.
The authorities in Colombia have been worried for years about the growing levels of terror activity in Latin America, as they have witnessed its tentacles encroaching ever closer to their frontiers.
Bogota assigns much of the blames to Venezuela. The socialist regime of Nicolas Maduro is reported to be granting a safe haven to a number of criminal groups with the purpose of countering the influence of the United States in the region.
Visiting Israel last week, Mr Molano described Iran and Hezbollah as “a common enemy”. He warned that they “operate against Israel but also support the Venezuelan regime”.
Mr Molano said: “Therefore, it is an important effort to exchange information and intelligence that we develop with the military forces and the ministry of defence in Israel.”
After a backlash in Colombia following his remarks, Mr Molano was forced to backtrack on calling Iran a “common enemy”.