Greek Police announced Tuesday they had arrested two foreign suspects after having disrupted a “foreign terrorist network” operating within the country.
Israel’s international Mossad intelligence agency said its agents helped the Greek government track down and arrest the Iranian terror cell before the operatives could carry out plans to attack Israelis in the country.
The terrorists allegedly planned to attack a Jewish synagogue that also functions as a restaurant in central Athens, according to Greek daily Kathimerini.
An Iran-based operative identified as the handler for two Pakistani nationals had allegedly promised to pay the two locals for carrying out the attack, using a gas cylinder explosive.
The two Pakistani suspects were charged with membership in a terrorist organization and are being held at police headquarters in the Greek capital, authorities said. The Iran-based handler is wanted for questioning and was charged in absentia.
The Mossad aided Greece with an analysis of Iran’s operational procedures that ultimately led to determining the terror cell’s methodology. Israel’s intelligence agency also linked the terror cell in Greece to the global Iranian terrorist network.
“Along with our intelligence partners we will act in our role without rest to thwart Iran’s intentions to cause harm throughout the world,” the Mossad said in a statement.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry Thanks Greece for Thwarting Attack
“I thank the Greek government and the Greek intelligence and security service for thwarting the terrorist attack against Jewish and Israeli targets,” Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said in a statement Tuesday evening.
אני מודה לממשלת יוון ולשירות המודיעין והביטחון היווני על סיכול פיגוע הטרור נגד מטרות יהודיות וישראליות.
הטרור הוא אויב משותף והמאבק בו עומד בראש סדר העדיפויות שלנו.
ממשל האייטולות מטהרן מייצא טרור למזה"ת ולעולם כולו ורק עמידה איתנה ומשותפת תעצור את פעילות הטרור של המשטר האיראני
— אלי כהן | Eli Cohen (@elicoh1) March 28, 2023
“Terrorism is a common enemy and the fight against it is our top priority.
“The government of the Ayatollahs in Tehran exports terrorism to the Middle East and the whole world and only a firm and joint stand will stop the terrorist activities of the Iranian regime,” Cohen added.
Holiday Counter Terrorism Travel Warnings
Israel’s National Security Counter Terrorism Division (NSCCTD) recently issued a travel warning for the 2023 spring holiday season as tourism to and from Israel gets underway.
The NSCCTD said it believes that Iran will continue to use terrorist actions as a tool to achieve its main goals and will continue to advance attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets around the world.
Areas deemed to have the highest likelihood of such actions were said to be those countries in proximity to Iran, such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Bahrain as well as additional countries in the Mediterranean Sea basin (such as Greece and Cyprus), and the Middle East, including the Kurdish area in Iraq (which Israelis are prohibited from entering).