Thai security authorities announced Thursday that they have discovered a “direct connection” linking the attacks against Israeli diplomats in Georgia and India with the Iranian terror cell apprehended Tuesday in Bangkok.
Thai Police chief Prewpan Dhamapong said that Israeli diplomats were the intended targets of the cell, which consisted of three Iranian nationals.
On Thursday, two of the Iranians were charged in court over the alleged plot to attack Israeli diplomats. They were caught trying to flee Bangkok after one of the explosive devices they were assembling accidentally exploded.
Dhamapong told the Thai media that Mohammad Kharzei, one of the cell members captured trying to board a plane to Malaysia, had “partially confessed” and acknowledged knowing one of the other suspects.
Meanwhile Thursday, a Kuwaiti newspaper claimed that a plot to assassinate Defense Minister Ehud Barak had been foiled by Singaporean authorities in cooperation with the Mossad, during his visit to the island country earlier this week.
The report in Al Jarida, claimed that three members of a Hezbollah-Iranian terror cell were arrested by Singapore’s security agencies. According to the report, Mossad obtained information on the plot and passed it on to Singapore prior to Barak’s visit there earlier this week. Barak was in Singapore to attend the annual Air Show and for talks with local officials.
Al Jarida claimed that the Hezbollah-Iranian cell was in possession of accurate information on Barak’s schedule during his three-day visit to Singapore and that it had planned to try and assassinate him at his hotel. Barak is currently in Japan on a four day visit and is scheduled to return to Israel on Monday.
Israeli defense officials said they were not familiar with the report.
The Times of India revealed Thursday that Mossad chief Tamir Pardo had visited New Delhi just days before the attack but failed to predict that the attack against a diplomat’s car would take place. According to the report, Pardo felt that Israelis in India were safer from possible revenge attacks than their counterparts in Turkey, Southeast Asia and South America.
According to the Indian press, the Indian military chief General V K Singh will visit Israel next month for talks with IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz.
Barak said Thursday that Iran’s announcement the day earlier of new nuclear achievements was exaggerated and meant to fend off action against the Islamic republic. Iran proclaimed advances in nuclear know-how, including new centrifuges able to enrich uranium much faster, a move that may heighten its confrontation with the West over suspicions it is seeking the means to make atomic bombs.
"They are describing a situation that is better and more advanced than the one they are in, in order to create a feeling among all the players that the point of no return is already behind them, which is not true," Barak told Israel Radio.
Barak said those announcements were meant to create an impression that any action taken by world powers to curb Iran’s nuclear program would be too late. Iran says it is enriching uranium for peaceful purposes.
"They are definitely making progress, but in order to deter anyone dealing with them, or perhaps even to make this seem superfluous, they are priding themselves on achievements that do not yet exist," Barak said.