State Dept.: Iran Increased Support for Global Terrorism in 2012
Iran boosted in 2012 its support for global terrorism to levels not seen for two decades, according to the U.S. State Department’s annual report on international trends in extremist violence, CBS News reported Thursday.
The State Department's "Country Reports on Terrorism" for 2012 left unchanged the U.S. list of "state sponsors of terrorism." Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria remain on that blacklist, although Iran was singled out as the worst offender and Syria was taken to task for the ongoing brutal crackdown on opponents of President Bashar Al-Assad's regime.
The report said that 2012 was "notable in demonstrating a marked resurgence of Iran's state sponsorship of terrorism."
That sponsorship has been largely carried out through the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Hizbullah terrorist organization, Iran's ally and proxy in Lebanon, said the report.
"Iran and Hizbullah’s terrorist activity has reached a tempo unseen since the 1990s, with attacks plotted in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa," it said, according to CBS News. Those included an attack on a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Bulgaria that killed six, as well as thwarted strikes in India, Thailand, Georgia and Kenya.
Earlier this month, two Iranians were found guilty by a Kenyan court of possessing explosives allegedly for use in bomb attacks.
Ahmed Mohammed and Sayed Mansour, who were arrested last June, were found guilty of possessing 15 kilos (33 pounds) of the powerful explosive RDX. The court said they had suspected links to a terror network planning bombings in Mombasa and Nairobi.
The two, who were sentenced to life in prison, were planning to blow up Israeli-owned businesses and targets, as well as Saudi and U.S.-affiliated targets, Kenyan security officials said. Israeli businesses in Kenya have been targeted in the past, including the Al Qaeda-claimed bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa in 2002, in which 18 people died, as well as a failed missile strike on an Israeli charter plane at the same time.
One Kenyan official said the two are members of Iran’s Quds Brigades, which is mentioned in the State Department report.
The report comes on the same day that it was publicized that Nigerian security forces have uncovered and arrested a Hizbullah terror cell. The cell had maintained a large weapons store in a bunker.
The cell has been operating for several years and had planned to strike American and Israeli targets.
In March, a Cyprus court sentenced a self-confessed member of Hizbullah to four years in prison after he was convicted of involvement in a plot to attack Israeli interests on the island.