Hezbollah plot to bomb Azerbaijan embassy foiled


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Azerbaijan officials foiled a plot by Iranian-backed Hezbollah to bomb the Israeli Embassy, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The failed attack in the Azerbaijan capital of Baku was in revenge for the 2008 car-bomb assassination of the head of the Hezbollah security service, Imad Mughniyeh, in Syria. Israel denied being behind the killing.

The attempted attack on the Israeli embassy became public last week, when closed court proceedings began for the two Lebanese and four Azeris charged with, among other things, espionage and terrorism, the Times reported Saturday. 

Azerbaijan, a moderate Muslim nation of 8 million, has good relations with Israel and Iran on its southern border.

The Hezbollah cell allegedly, according to the Azerbaijani investigation, intended to set off up to four car bombs simultaneously around the Israeli embassy, a building that also houses the Thai and Japanese embassies. The terrorists had hundreds of pounds of explosives reportedly supplied by Iran, according to the Times.

Police moved in when members of the cell realized in May 2008 that they were under surveillance. Several suspects escaped into Iran, according to the report. 

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