London, 27 June – Iran is planning to strike Western targets via terror cells that it is setting up in Africa, Britain’s Daily Telegraph reports. The network of cells has been ordered by the head of the extra territorial Quds Force, a branch of the notorious Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The head, Qassem Suleimani, is responsible for a number of unconventional warfare activities that are carried out outside Iran. He also oversees a number of intelligence activities across the world.
This new activity by Iran is said to be in retaliation for the crippling economic sanctions that the United States put in place last year after pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as it is formally known.
Tensions between the United States and Iran have been gradually mounting since President Donald Trump took office. Last month, tensions reached a new height as Trump deployed more troops to the Gulf as well as a number of vessels in response to threats by Iran.
Other Western countries have become increasingly concerned about Iran’s activities and threatening actions and have been unable to continue with its conciliatory course of action.
It is thought that cells will be active in a number of countries including Gambia, Ghana, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Niger and Chad.
Intelligence indicates that Iran started to establish cells after it had signed the nuclear deal in 2015. There are an estimated 300 young militants that have been trained in Syria and Iraq at camps run by Iran that will work with these new cells.
Iran’s terror activity is ramping up and comes just weeks after a stockpile of explosives belonging to Iran-backed groups was found just outside London.
The day-to-day operation and running of the cells is being overseen by Unit 400, another specialised division of the IRGC that is led by Hamed Abdollahi. In 2012, Abdollahi was designated by the United States for supporting terrorist activities.
Iran shot down an unmanned U.S. drone last week, saying that it was violating Iranian airspace. The United States, however, said that the drone was in international airspace.
A retaliatory strike almost went ahead before being called off at the last minute.
There are concerns that Iran, via its terrorist cells in Africa, will target Western embassies, military bases and oil fields. This activity is just a continuation of its terrorist activities elsewhere in the world.
Before this latest series of events, many European leaders had been reluctant to openly criticise and take decisive action against Iran. However, things are rapidly changing now that it is clear the Iran threat is getting closer and closer to home.
Indeed, last year alone, there were a number of terrorist and assassination plots that European intelligence agencies were able to foil.