Azerbaijan officials said they uncovered an Iranian-linked Muslim gang that plotted to assassinate Chabad rabbis and others in Baku. The rabbis teach at the Chabad Jewish school in Baku.
Azerbaijan's National Security Ministry named one of the gang members as Balagardash Dadashov, an Azerbaijan citizen who lives in the Iranian city of Ardabil, according to the Azerbaijan News.az website.
He and two others, Rasim Farail Aliyev and Ali Alihamza Huseynov, were charged with smuggling weapons and explosives into the country.
The National Security Ministry said that Dadashov had contacts with Iranian intelligence agencies and promised Aliyev, his brother-in-law in Ardabil, $150,000 to kill foreigners in Baku “in order to put an end to their public service.”
Aliyev agreed, received a down payment and then promised half of the money to Huseynov to carry out the assassinations with a sniper rifle that could be used out of the view of security cameras. He also considered using a pistol to kill the victims at their homes.
Huseynov agreed bought vehicles and prepared maps and photographs of the intended victims and their cars. Two of them were Chabad rabbis.