Europe

Denmark Breaks Up Iranian Terror Plot to Kill Opposition Activist

A Danish police operation thwarted an Iranian plot to assassinate an opposition leader in the Scandinavian country.

Finn Borch Andersen, Denmark’s intelligence chief, said that a Norwegian of Iranian descent was arrested on October 21 for acting as an accomplice with an unidentified Iranian intelligence agency “to act in Denmark” in an assassination plot targeting an Iranian opposition leader, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Borch Anderson said that the suspect, who is awaiting a hearing on November 8, says that he’s innocent. The intelligence chief added that agencies in Norway and Sweden cooperated in the investigation.

The suspect was seen taking pictures of the residences of members of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA). Iran accused the group of being responsible for an attack on a military parade in September that left more than 25 people dead. ASMLA has denied any involvement in the attack.

Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen said that it was “totally unacceptable” for Iran to plot an attack on Danish soil, and that he would talk with European allies about possible unspecified “further steps” to be taken in reaction to the attempted attack.

The broken-up attack in Denmark is the latest terror attempt by the Islamic Republic on foreign soil.

Four people were arrested in connection with an Iranian-led bomb plot against an Iranian opposition group in Paris this past summer. One of those arrested was an Iranian diplomat who was captured in Germany. Earlier this month, they were extradited to Belgium, which has taken the lead in the investigation.

In August, the United States Justice Department charged two Iranian men on espionage charges. They were accused of gathering information on Jewish and Israeli sites, as well as individuals associated with the rebel group MEK, and passing the information on to Tehran.

In January, Benjamin Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post that Germany sought ten members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force for spying on Jewish and Israeli institutions across the nation.

In November of last year, an advocate for Iran’s Ahwazi Arabs was fatally shot in the Hague. In July, it was announced that the Netherlands had expelled two Iranian diplomats two months ago. The Dutch government didn’t mention if the expulsions were related to the murder.

Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported that the attempted Paris terror attack has “sparked growing anxiety” in numerous European countries, the U.S., and Israel, and that Tehran has stepped up its intelligence activities abroad in preparation for more “audacious” terror attacks.

A Middle Eastern intelligence official told the Post that there has been a “definite uptick” in activities by Iranian agents recently. The official added that Iran is preparing “for the possibility of conflict.”

[Photo: Jorge Franganillo / Flickr ]