We are in the Midst of an Iranian Terror Offensive

by RYAN MAURO February 20, 2012
Four developments this week make it clear that we are in the midst of an Iranian terror offensive that began in the fall. First, there were three Iranian-orchestrated attacks on Israeli diplomats in India, Georgia and Thailand. And then came a chilling headline: "Fears Iran Helping Al-Qaida for 'Spectacular' Attack."
 
The astonishingly small reaction to that news story shows just how far we’ve come since 9/11. You would have been called overly cynical if, in October 2001, you said that in February 2012, there’d be almost no reaction to a news story about two of our worst enemies working together for a “spectacular” attack on the West, one of which is close to having nuclear weapons. Yet, that sorry state of mind is exactly where we find ourselves.
 
An intelligence source unequivocally told the British press, “We do know that an operation is under way.” Verifying the source claim is an intelligence memo that discusses Iran’s “improvement of operational and intelligence ties with the al-Qaeda leadership in Pakistan in recent months.” This includes training in explosives. Ayman al-Zawahiri is reportedly working on an operation involving simultaneous terror attacks and British intelligence believes that Europe is the most likely target.
 
Last summer, the U.S. disclosed that there is a "secret deal" between Iran and Al-Qaeda. The Iranian regime gives harbor to top leaders and allows money and personnel to flow through its territory. The U.S. offered $10 million for information leading to Yasin al-Suri, an Al-Qaeda leader in Iran. After that happened, Iran apparently feared for his security and put him on lockdown and had another Al-Qaeda leadr, Muhsin al-Fadhil, take over his duties.
 
There has to be some connection between this plot and how Syria and Iran just released some major Al-Qaeda figures. The Assad regime set Abu Musab al-Suri, the former Al-Qaeda operations chief in Europe with ties to the London and Madrid bombings, free. His senior aide, Abu Khalid, was also let go. At around the same time, Iran took the shackles off of at least 5 Al-Qaeda leaders it had on a loose form of house arrest since 2003. One of those five is Saif al-Adel, who has been described as “the most ruthless leader in Al-Qaeda.”
 
Thomas Joscelyn points out that Namaan Meziche, who was closely involved with Mohammed Atta and the Hamburg terror cell that formed the backbone of the 9/11 attacks, is in Iran. This shouldn’t be surprising considering the recent ruling that Iran and Hezbollah played a direct material role in the attacks.
 
It is apparent that Iran launched a new terror offensive in the fall. In October, the U.S. foiled Iran’s plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington D.C. The headlines from that story downplayed what Iran was planning. They made it sound like a typical murder was planned, perhaps entering his house and killing him. That’s not the case. Iran wanted to blow up a restaurant in Washington D.C. where the ambassador was eating. It goes even further. The plotters discussed bombing the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington D.C. and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
 
In November, a wave of attacks in Bahrain put together by Iran and Syria was stopped. The cell of five terrorists were trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Syria and four were caught in Qatar as they were traveling to Iran for a final round of training. They were also to be given a fatwa declaring their attacks to qualify as “defensive jihad” because of Bahrain’s crackdown on Shiite protesters. The Iranian-backed cell was going to attack the King Fahd Bridge that goes to Saudi Arabia, the Saudi embassy in Manama, the Bahraini Interior Ministry and kill multiple journalists and members of Bahrain’s parliament.
 
In January, authorities in Thailand arrested an Iranian and seized two stockpiles of bomb ingredients after Israel and the U.S. tipped them off about a Hezbollah terrorist plot. The suspect reportedly wanted to attack Israeli tourists in Bangkok. His arrest didn’t stop a larger conspiracy in the country. This week, three Iranians were arrested (two in Thailand, one in Malaysia) after one was injured in an accidental explosion and started throwing grenades. It is believed that they were going to attack the Israeli embassy and that there are other conspirators still at large.
 
There were two other plots this week alone. In New Dehi, India, a motorcycle-riding terrorist drove up to an Israeli diplomatic vehicle, placed a magnetic bomb on it and detonated it. The wife of the Israeli Defense Ministry attaché was seriously injured. The same day, a bomb was found underneath the car of an Israeli diplomatic vehicle in Tblisi, Georgia and was disarmed.
 
And now we learn of a joint Iranian-Al-Qaeda “spectacular” terrorist plot against the West and it is barely news. With that type of reaction, who can blame our enemies for their confidence and thinking we are weak?
 

Ryan Mauro is Family Security Matters' national security analyst. He is a fellow with RadicalIslam.org, the founder of WorldThreats.com and a frequent national security analyst for Fox News Channel. He can be contacted at ryanmauro1986@gmail.com.


Ryan Mauro is Family Security Matters' national security analyst. He is a fellow with RadicalIslam.org, the founder of WorldThreats.com and a frequent national security analyst for Fox News Channel. He can be contacted at ryanmauro1986@gmail.com.


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