The Israeli intelligence service Mossad helped thwart a major Iranian terrorist attack in a Parisian suburb last month, The Times of Israel reported Thursday.
According to Israeli media, the Mossad gathered crucial intelligence passed on to authorities in Germany, France, and Belgium that led to the arrest of a cell headed by an Iranian diplomat. The intelligence cooperation between Israel and European countries prevented a planned bomb attack on the annual National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) rally in the town of Villepinte on June 30.
About 25,000 people attended the rally in the Parisian suburb.
The cell, headed by an Iranian diplomat at the Austrian embassy in Vienna, also consisted of two Belgians of Iranian origin, arrested by Belgian authorities on Saturday, with 500 grams of the homemade explosive TATP and a detonation device found in their car.
The Mossad, in conjunction with their counterparts from Belgium, France, and Germany, led a successful manhunt across several European borders, tracking the suspects and eavesdropping on them.
The arrests were made days before Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani traveled to Europe to save the nuclear deal signed between Iran and six world powers in 2015 from which the United States withdrew earlier this year.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alluded to the Mossad operation ahead of Rouhani’s trip.
“There is a meeting this week by the P4 without the United States…” and “the P4 invited Iran’s President Rouhani to attend,” Netanyahu said.
“At the same time, in recent days, this same regime dispatched a terrorist cell to carry out a major terrorist action in France. The commander of this terrorism cell was an Iranian diplomat in Austria… This Iranian terror plot was planned on the soil of Europe on the same week that the European leaders are supposed to meet the president of Iran about circumventing the sanctions on Iran,” Netanyahu added.
Iran has said it had nothing to do with the plot, which its foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, called a “false flag” operation.
In January, Netanyahu said that Israeli intelligence had helped foil dozens of major terror attack across Europe.
[Photo: Pablo Ibañez / Flickr ]