Jerusalem: Israeli espionage agency Mossad and the Greek police are said to have collaborated in foiling an alleged plot to carry out a massive terror attack targeting Israelis and Jews in Greece.
The Greek police arrested two Pakistani nationals Tuesday who were allegedly planning the attack, Times of Israel reported.
The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), in a statement, said the two nabbed Pakistani nationals were part of an Iranian terror network.
“The affair that was uncovered in Greece is a severe case that was successfully thwarted by the Greek security forces. It was an additional attempt by Iran to perpetrate terrorism against Israeli and Jewish targets abroad”, the Israeli PMO said.
“After the start of the investigation of the suspects in Greece, the Mossad rendered intelligence assistance in unraveling the infrastructure, its work methods and the link to Iran.
“The investigation revealed that the infrastructure that operated in Greece is part of an extensive Iranian network run from Iran and spanning many countries”, it added.
The two unnamed suspects, aged 27 and 29, are reportedly being held at police headquarters in central Athens. A third man, who is not in Greece, is wanted for questioning and has been charged in absentia.
Local media reports indicated that the target of the attack was a Chabad House, which includes a Kosher restaurant and also hosts other religious services.
It is noteworthy that Pakistani terrorists who carried out the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai also targeted the Chabad House in the Indian metropolis.
Greek Police said the suspects had chosen a target of “high symbolism” and were making final preparations for the attack.
“Their aim was not only to cause the loss of life of innocent citizens but also to undermine the sense of security in the country while hurting public institutions and threatening (Greece’s) international relations,” the Greek police said.
The two Pakistanis were said to be a part of a “wide Iranian network that operates from Iran and out of many other countries”.
“An analysis of the seized information and digital data revealed and confirmed that the members of the network had already chosen as the target of the attack, a building of special importance; had carried out the reconnaissance of the area and the planning of the attack; and had received final instructions to carry out the attack,” a police statement carried by Greek news website Directus said.
According to the report, authorities began investigating the terror network following the 2021 arrest of two other Pakistani men suspected of planning attacks on Israelis.
The network was also linked to an Iranian plot foiled in Turkey last year, it said.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen thanked Greece for foiling the plot.
“The Ayatollah regime in Tehran is exporting terror to the Middle East, the Mediterranean and the wider world. Only a tough stance and cooperation will halt the terror activities of the Iranian regime,” Cohen said in a tweet.
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said the arrest was “further proof of the superiority of Israeli intelligence and the importance of international cooperation in the fight against terrorism and its perpetrators”.
“The Mossad and Israel’s intelligence agencies will continue to ensure that wherever Iran seeks to act against our citizens, it will be met with an effective response,” he said.