Thai authorities have disrupted a major Hezbollah terror plot targeting Israeli tourists traveling through the country during the Passover holiday season. The Iranian-backed global terror group has killed more Americans than any other terrorist organization except Al Qaeda. First revealed by journalists in Thailand on Thursday, the story of the foiled attack was picked-up by Israeli and Arabic outlets over the weekend.
The Bangkok Post carried descriptions of the suspects. Both of them were Lebanese dual citizens:
The men have been identified as French-Lebanese national Daoud Farhat and Lebanese-Filipino national Youssef Ayad. The source said Mr Farhat held a French passport and Mr Ayad carried a Philippines passport. According to their passports, both were born in Lebanon, though authorities have yet to confirm if the travel documents are genuine. Mr Farhat is visiting Thailand for the first time, while this is Mr Ayad’s 17th visit to the country.
The data points will likely reinforce analyst concerns that Hezbollah has invested heavily in the development of tradecraft, especially in the context of the Iran-backed terror group’s multiple plots against Israeli tourists. A source told the Bangkok Post that Thai authorities believe there are at least nine other Hezbollah terrorists inside Thailand, and that efforts to track them down were ongoing.
Lebanon’s Daily Star specifically cited both elements – the evidence of extensive preparation and the nine still-uncaptured Hezbollah operatives – in a short write-up about the incident.
TIME contextualized the plot alongside a previous Iranian-driven terror attack planned for Bangkok, and in turn highlighted that plot fits neatly alongside a significant range of Hezbollah’s global terror efforts targeting innocents across the globe:
Phone records and other evidence gathered by four governments in a joint report detailed by the Washington Post link the Bangkok plan to Iranian plots against Israeli targets in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and India, all of which ended in failure and arrests. Other plots were thwarted in Kenya, South Africa, Cyprus and Bulgaria – and Texas, where an Iranian-American used car salesman tried to plot the assassination by bomb of Saudia Arabia’s ambassador in Washington D.C.
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