Friday 30 June 2023

Israel’s Mossad Kidnaps Alleged Leader Of Iranian Hit Squad, Reveals Confession

 Israeli spies stopped a deadly plot with a daring operation on Iranian soil, kidnapping the head of a hit squad that was planning to kill Israelis in Cyprus, the Mossad said Thursday.

In a rare statement, the spy agency said the suspect had given a detailed confession which it relayed to authorities in Cyprus. The hit squad was tolled up before it could act.

“We will reach whoever foments terrorism against Jews and Israelis around the world, including on Iranian soil,” the Mossad statement said, quoting an unnamed senior agency official.

The Iranian government frequently calls for the destruction of the state of Israel and funds terror groups that carry out bombings inside Israel. Iran has also long been seeking nuclear weapons, a quest Israel views as an existential threat. Israel is believed to be behind the assassinations of Iranian nuclear experts and the bombing of suspected nuclear facilities inside Iran over the last several years.

The Mossad released footage of the suspected leader of the Iranian hit squad, Yusef Shahabazi Abbasalilu, confessing to his role in the plot. It said he was working directly with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Abbasalilu named his handler as Hassan Shoushtari Zadeh, a known figure inside the Revolutionary Guard’s intelligence branch. In the videotaped interrogation, Abbasalilu said Zadeh “discussed what he was planning to in Cyprus. He told me, ‘You need to enter northern Cyprus where we have certain people who can send you from there to southern Cyprus.'”

Shoustari allegedly gave him a gun, which he hid, and GPS directions to the home of one of the targets. Abbasalilu said he began surveilling the target but stopped when his handler warned him the police were onto him. At that point, Abbasalilu fled the Mediterranean island nation.

“In the wake of the information that he gave to investigators, the cell was dismantled in an operation by the Cypriot security services,” the Mossad statement said.

It was not clear how or where inside Iran Mossad agents nabbed Abbasalilu, nor what his current status is.

Authorities in Cyprus declined comment to the Associated Press, saying only that “they don’t discuss matters of national security.”

An Azeri man is currently on trial in Cyprus on suspicion that he planned to assassinate Israelis living there.

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