Murder plots targeting Israeli were foiled in Cyprus, Turkey and Colombia, says David Barnea.
The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to try to kill Israelis abroad, but Israel has stymied its efforts dozens of times in recent weeks, Mossad Director David Barnea said on Monday.
“In Cyprus, an attempted terror attack against Israeli businesspeople was thwarted. In Turkey, a terror attack attempt against a local Israeli businessman and an Israeli diplomat was thwarted, in Colombia, an attempt to attack Israeli businesspeople was thwarted. In many additional places in the world, terror attacks were thwarted,” Barnea said, speaking at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism’s 21st annual conference in Herzliya.
In all such cases, he said, terrorists were caught with deadly weapons and provided information about the identity of their target during questioning.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ intelligence agency sent three hit squads to Istanbul simultaneously, with orders to kill any Israelis they could, Barnea said.
“We stood a hairsbreadth away from harm to our people. The crosshairs were actually on peoples’ heads. Thanks to the dedicated intelligence personnel of the Mossad, with excellent cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the National Security Council, we, with Turkish assistance, foiled terror incidents that were imminent a moment before the trigger was pressed, a moment before terrible tragedies would have occurred,” he said, adding that the targets were innocent tourists.
Addressing the ongoing nuclear negotiations between Iran and world powers, Barnea said the talks have had no restraining effect on Tehran, adding that its terror activities had expanded to the United States and Europe to target former American administration officials, Iranian dissidents and others.
He accused the world of “allowing Iran to work like this” and failing to hold Iran to account for its ongoing effort to carry out lethal attacks in the Western world, giving Tehran a green light to continue.
Barnea said that during his recent visit to the United States, he conveyed to American officials the repercussions of accepting a new nuclear deal, saying this would result in an immediate $6 billion for Iran, to be followed by some $90 billion in the first year from unfrozen assets and revenue from increased oil sales.
Tens of billions of dollars would follow each year, resulting in an immediate addition of 25 percent to the Islamic Republic’s GDP. “No other country would come close to such a rise in growth,” he said.
Iranian proxies such as Hezbollah, Shi’ite militias in Iraq and the Houthis in Yemen would all benefit, he warned. “If even a small percentage of these huge additions [to Tehran’s coffers]is diverted to regional terrorism, it would multiply their money and lead to unprecedented force build-up by terrorists,” he warned.
Barnea emphasized that a new nuclear agreement would not grant Iran immunity from Mossad action.