The Iranian regime is using Pakistani youth to establish a terrorist cell on European soil with an extensive network of agents and operatives it manages from abroad
The identity of the Pakistani agent who activated the operatives that were arrested in Greece last week for planning an attack on a Chabad Jewish site in Athens was revealed on Tuesday.
According to a security official, the agent is Mohammad Mohsen Reza, a 65-year-old Pakistani man who the Revolutionary Guards have employed in their service for a number of years. Reza is a resident of the religious city of Qom in Iran. The Revolutionary Guards are said to be leveraging his contacts around the world to operate their terror network, often using young people from Pakistan.
Last week, Greek security services had detained two undocumented immigrants from the Sargodha District of Pakistan for planning the Athens attack, with the aim of killing Israelis and Jews staying in the country. The pair, 29-year-old Hussein Abid and 27-year-old Irtaza Haider, were recruited by Iran’s security and intelligence bodies. Local media reports said that they were in the final stages of planning their attack and planned to recruit others.
These operatives are reportedly part of a large network Iran has constructed throughout its efforts to conduct terror attacks abroad. The Revolutionary Guards are said to manage agents with criminal and security ties. These agents then locate, recruit and direct foreign fighters with religious and ideological motives to carry out their work for them – far from Iran.
According to a security official, Reza also recruited Syed Fakhar Abbas, a Pakistani criminal, as a fighter. Abbas, 30, is wanted for murder in Pakistan, and he had fled the country’s authorities. Under Iranian protection, he promotes terrorism around the world, including in the Middle East and the Caucasus. Abbas tried to carry out the attack in Greece through Haidar and Abid, until they were arrested and their plot was thwarted.
A statement issued by the Mossad after the arrests last week explained that the terrorists were “part of a network operated from Iran and across many countries,” and that the espionage agency had helped Greek authorities thwart the attacks. The Mossad said it was “another attempt by Iran to promote terrorism against Israeli and Jewish targets abroad,” and also added that it had provided Greek authorities with intelligence on the group, its operational methods and its connection to Iran.
According to a media report, the investigation in Greece began last year following information provided by the Mossad to the Greek authorities. After investigators were convinced that they had enough evidence against the two suspects, they ordered their arrest a month ago on the charge of being in the country illegally.
One of the terrorists was arrested on the island of Zakynthos, and the other on Skala, Laconia. Pictures and videos from their mobile phones indicate that the two men were looking for a Chabad House in the Psiri neighborhood of Athens. It was also reported that, after they were unable to obtain guns, their handler ordered that they use a gas balloon which they could detonate for the attack. Takis Theodorikakos, the Greek civil defense minister, said their motive was probably financial.
A statement from the Greek police after the arrest read: “After coordinated operations between the Greek police and the National Intelligence Service, a terrorist network was dismantled that planned – through orders from abroad – to carry out attacks in carefully selected locations on Greek soil.” Police said the suspects had conducted patrols in the city and received instructions to carry out an attack imminently.
Source » haaretz