Hizbullah Aimed at Israel in Istanbul
A bombing attack in Istanbul that wounded eight people two months ago now appears to have been aimed at Israel, and not Turkish citizens, according to a report by an Italian newspaper.
The attack was originally thought to have been the work of the Kuristan Workers' Party (PKK), a terrorist group outlawed in Turkey, the European Union and the United States. However, according to a report published Monday in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, three Hizbullah terrorists had arrived in Istanbul from Beirut to attack Israeli Consul General to Istabul Moshe Kimchi.
The attack was intended to be carried out in retribution for the alleged assassination by the Mossad of Iranian nuclear physicist Masoud Ali Muhammedi last year in Tehran. The attempt failed, however, because the terrorists miscalculated – Kimchi's schedule ran late on the day of the attack, the report said.
Ankara intelligence sources denied the report in an interview in the Turkish daily Hurriyet, saying, “Israel carries out similar disinformation campaigns through newspapers from time to time.”
Security officials in Israel had issued a warning just one month earlier – in April – that Hizbullah was planning to attack Israelis abroad.
The terrorist organization has for some time maintained its intention to murder Israelis in retaliation for the assassination of the group's #2 commander, Imad Mughniyeh in a Damascus car bombing in February 2008. Hizbullah accused Israel of carrying out the murder. Several such attempts have been foiled.