Iran behind attacks on Israeli embassies in Europe, Mossad charges

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Officers stand near the Israeli Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, Jan. 31, 2024. (Henrik Montgomery/TT News Agency via AP)
Officers stand near the Israeli Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, Jan. 31, 2024. (Henrik Montgomery/TT News Agency via AP)

Iran is behind a string of terror attacks on Israeli embassies by criminal networks in Europe since October 7, a Mossad intelligence agency official says.

The agency opened up an investigation alongside European counterparts after an explosive device, said to be a hand grenade, was found inside the grounds of the Israeli Embassy in Stockholm in January and destroyed by the Swedish national bomb squad.

After interrogating the suspects and examining forensic evidence, the investigators concluded that the Foxtrot organized crime ring in Sweden was behind the attack, at Iran’s behest, according to the Mossad.

Foxtrot leader Rawa Majid — known as “the Kurdish Fox” — has been working with Iran for months, Israel alleges. He was recruited by Iranian agents after he fled to Iran from Turkey in September of last year, pursued by international law enforcement and Iraqi security forces.

He was arrested by Iran and recruited to plan a string of attacks in Europe against Jewish and Israeli targets, according to the Mossad.

There have been dozens of Iran-backed terror plots against Jewish and Israeli targets uncovered in recent months, says the Israeli agency, many of which used local criminal networks.

On May 17, Swedish police heard gunshots late at night near the Israeli embassy. They detained a 14-year-old boy in connection to the shooting and made known that the Israeli embassy was the target.

That shooting was carried out by the Rumba crime group, said the Mossad, headed by Majid’s rival Ismail Abdo and also directed by Iran.

“Iran operates many criminal organizations in Sweden and Europe in general, while taking advantage of the relative advantage of each and sometimes the rivalry between them,” says the Israeli official.

Foxtrot and Rumba receive funding and direction directly from Iran, the Mossad alleged, and are closely monitored by European intelligence.

The spy agency also accuses Iran of trying to take advantage of rising antisemitism in Europe while avoiding direct responsibility for attacks.

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