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Peru Arrests Suspected Hezbollah Member for Plotting Terror Attacks Against Jewish Targets

On Friday, Lebanon’s NOW media outlet reported that a Lebanese national, Mohammad Amadar, was arrested in Lima, Peru last week. NOW reported that explosives and a detonator were found in Amadar’s apartment and cited an Israeli news report that he had “planned to ‘execute a major attack’ against Jewish targets.

The report specified that the Lebanese national had “collected intelligence” on targets in the country and was planning to attack the Israeli embassy in Lima, local Jewish community institutions as well as “locations popular among Israeli backpackers.

Israeli YNet news cited Israeli security officials as saying that “a Hezbollah operative was arrested in Peru after he started building an infrastructure for terrorist attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets in Peru.”

While Peruvian authorities have not explicitly said that Amadar was a member of Hezbollah, Interior Minister Daniel Urresti indicated “that he was linked to an ‘international terror organization.’”  Peru has increased security around potential targets, including the Israeli embassy.

The Washington Post last year reported that Hezbollah had set up indoctrination camps throughout South America in order to build up its presence in the continent.

This is not the first time that South American Jews have been targeted by Iranian-backed terrorism. Twenty years ago, a terrorist working on behalf of Iran bombed the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Argentina. In Has Argentina Turned Against its Jews?, which was published in the October 2014 issue of The Tower Magazine, Eamonn MacDonagh looks at the politics that has led Argentina to let Iran off the hook for the crime. In the end MacDonagh writes:

If there is any lesson to be learned from this sad tale, it is that in order to fight terrorism you have to want to fight it. That is something the Kirchner governments have shown no interest in doing, and they have suffered the consequences of moral degradation and national humiliation as a result. They appear to think that making ringing declarations of concern for justice while winking at the likely perpetrators of a terrorist massacre is a better policy. It is difficult to imagine that any future government will vary this line in any significant way.

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