The security alert for Australia’s Jewish community has been raised due to concerns about Hezbollah sleeper cells in the country.
The Community Security Group will provide extra security at synagogues and other Jewish institutions across the country amid fears of a reprisal following the assassination in Damascus of a terrorist Israel described as Hezbollah’s “chief of staff.”
“We are concerned although we don’t have specific intelligence,” a security spokesman told JTA. “But we are ramping up nonetheless.”
Israel denied any involvement in the car bomb which killed Mughniyeh in Damascus on Tuesday.
According to international terrorism experts, Hezbollah has sleeper cells in Australia. Its military wing was banned by the Australian government in 2003.
Last year, Kamal Mousselmani, the head of the Supreme Islamic Shia Council of Australia, told the Australian newspaper his 30,000-strong Shia community all supported Hezbollah, but that there was no branch of the organization in Australia.
In 2007, Australia’s then-grand mufti, Sheikh Tajeddin al-Hilaly, was suspected by a Australian Federal Police of diverting funds to Hezbollah that had been collected in Australia during Israel’s battle in Lebanon with the terrorist organization in July 2006. He was later cleared.