January 25, 2012
A Hizballah cell backed by intelligence from Tehran and external Iranian terror cells in Turkey, Bulgaria, Georgia and Armenia, was captured in Baku on Jan. 19 by Azerbaijan’s National Security Ministry (MNS) officers as it was about to launch a series of attacks on the Israeli embassy, Chief Rabbi Shneor Segal and Rabbi Mati Lewis at the Habad center and visiting Israel personages.
DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources disclose that two of the Hizballah cell members live permanently in Baku. The third, who resides in Tehran, was recruited by Iranian intelligence to lead the Hizballah operation, which was the first joint Iranian-Hizballah terrorist attack ever discovered.
In its sights too were the former Israeli chief of staff Gaby Ashkenazi who was due to visit to the Azerbaijan capital and several local high officials who work with the United States and Israel. They were suspected by Tehran of helping the US and Israel set up an attack on Iran from Azerbaijan.
The two Habad figures are Israeli-born heads of the Jewish community in Baku and the Ohr Avner Chabad Jewish Day School.