Palestinian terror cell, funded by Iran, busted in Israel

Muhammad Maharma, left, a Palestinian man accused of spying on behalf of Iran and planning to carry out terror attacks against Israel. And Backer Maharma, a Palestinian man living in South Africa, accused of connecting Muhammad to Iran. (Shin Bet)

The Israeli security forces have busted an Iranian funded, Palestinian terror cell in Israel:

An?Iran-backed terror cell made up of?Palestinians?have been busted in?Israel?after planning suicide bombings with a king pin based in?South Africa, it has been claimed.

Israel said on Wednesday it had cracked the militant cell suspected of having been recruited and handled by Iranian intelligence officers who worked out of the African nation.

The Shin Bet security agency said three Palestinians from the occupied West Bank had been indicted on espionage and terrorism charges having confessed to accepting missions assigned to them by Tehran.? ?

One of the three arrested was computer engineering student Mohammed Maharmeh, 29, according to Fox.

He is said to have been enlisted by his uncle Bahar Maharmeh, who had been living in South Africa.

Mohammed’s job was to recruit suicide bomber and gunmen for attacks against Israeli’s, according to Fox, and he was paid $8,000 from Iran.

Two of those he enlisted were Nur Maharmeh and Diaa Sarahana, both 22, who were both arrested in the sting.

Bahar remains at large.

To think that Obama fostered the lifting of sanctions against Iran.

On the rap sheet is said to be preparation of a suicide bombing and providing their handlers with Israeli cellphone SIM cards.

In its statement, the Shin Bet said the suspects’ point of contact was a Palestinian who lived in South Africa and had been recruited by Iranian intelligence.?

It gave no indication whether the South African government knew of the alleged Iranian activity, or of the Palestinian man’s whereabouts.

Israel has long been locked in a shadow war with arch-foe Iran, which supports Islamist guerrillas and whose nuclear programme is widely believed to have been targeted repeatedly by Israeli saboteurs.

South Africa, where pro-Palestinian sentiment is strong, has strained relations with Israel, but the Shin Bet statement also suggested the country effectively served as an Iranian spy hub.

Shin Bet said: ‘It became clear, during the the Shin Bet investigation, that Iranian intelligence used South Africa as a significant arena for locating, recruiting and running anti-Israel agents in the West Bank,’ adding that several Iranian officers had travelled there ‘from Tehran’ for the operation.

South Africa’s Foreign Ministry and Home Affairs Ministry and the Iranian embassy in Pretoria did not immediately respond to the Israeli allegations.

The Shin Bet did not say when it cracked the Palestinian cell or when the trial of the suspects would begin.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters on Wednesday the case showed that ‘Iran operates in a subversive and terrorist manner … not just in aiding terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah and Islamic jihad, but also in attempts to organise terror activities within the state of Israel against its civilians’.

The Israeli security services have to be the best in the world when it comes to intelligence operations.

What will be interesting is to see the Iranian reaction. The regime in Iran have more than a few problems right this minute.

-Daily Mail