Iran allegedly busts ‘Israel-backed’ sabotage ring
April 12, 2012 3 Comments
By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The government of Iran has announced the arrests of a “terrorist network” that was allegedly planning sabotage and assassination operations inside the Islamic Republic. The announcement was released by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry and aired by a host of state-controlled media on Tuesday. The reports were vague, but claimed that the sabotage ring was supported by Israel, and that its members were “plotting fresh attacks” against Iranian government targets. The Intelligence Ministry said that Iranian counterterrorist teams decided to move against the “large and sophisticated” network after preparing the ground during “months of operations”. An unidentified Iranian government official was quoted as saying that the arrests of the group members involved the “recovery of large bombs, automatic weapons, handguns, [as well as] telecommunications equipment” from houses and apartments belonging to alleged sabotage group members. One report stated that some of the arrests were concluded following “firefights” between the suspects and Iranian government forces. Reports also claimed that the network led officials to the discovery of a separate “regional command center in a third country”, which was not named, but which is widely suspected to be Azerbaijan. Earlier this week, The Washington Post reported that American intelligence agencies had ramped up intelligence and sabotage missions directed against Iran’s nuclear program. The paper quoted officials from the National Security Agency, who said they had been instructed to increase efforts to intercept email and electronic communications coming from Tehran. The Post also said CIA and other agencies had ramped up sabotage missions inside Iran, geared toward disrupting Iran’s ongoing nuclear work. On April 6, American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh claimed in The New Yorker that the Bush administration secretly instructed US Special Forces to train members of Iranian opposition group Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), which the US State Department categorizes as a foreign terrorist organization, at a Nevada training site. Hersh claimed that the training, on intercepting communications, cryptography, weaponry, and small-unit tactics, continued up until US President Barack Obama took office. Responding to the Iranian government’s claims, an unnamed Israeli official called Tehran’s accusations were “baseless” and said Jerusalem was “not taking the allegations seriously”.