| 17.02,12. 02:07 AM |
Israel, Singapore Deny Foiling Assassination Bid by Hizbullah, Iran against Barak
Israel revealed that an attempt to assassinate Defense Minister Ehud Barak was foiled during his trip to Singapore on Monday, reported Kuwait’s al-Jarida newspaper on Thursday, in remarks swiftly denied by an Israeli defense official and Singaporean police.
High-ranking Israeli sources said: “A joint cell from Iran and Hizbullah plotted the attempt to kill the minister.”
They explained that the Israeli intelligence, Mossad, informed Singaporean authorities of the plan, revealing that the cell had obtained detailed information of Barak’s agenda during his visit and that it sought to assassinate him at his hotel.
The Mossad informed the Singapore authorities of the information before the minister’s arrival and they consequently arrested three people from the cell, continued the sources.
Investigations are currently underway with them in cooperation with Israeli intelligence, they added.
Barak was in the city-state to attend the Singapore Airshow this week and hold talks with officials, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post.
Agence France Presse said its reporters who covered the airshow did not see Barak at the industry trade fair, which started on Tuesday, and security did not seem unusually tight.
Later on Thursday, however, both Singapore police and an Israeli defense official denied the reports.
"The report is untrue. No such incident occurred in Singapore," the police said in a statement emailed to AFP.
In Jerusalem, an Israeli defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP: "We have no knowledge of this."
Earlier this week, Israeli diplomats were targeted by bomb attacks in Delhi and Tbilisi on Monday, officials said, with two people injured in the Indian capital when an embassy car exploded in a ball of fire.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed the finger at Israel's regional arch-foe Iran.
"Iran is behind these attacks. It is the biggest exporter of terror in the world," he said.
Netanyahu said Israel has thwarted other attacks in recent months in Azerbaijan, Thailand and elsewhere.
On Tuesday, a string of blasts rattled Bangkok, seriously wounding a man believed to be Iranian when an explosive device he was carrying detonated in a residential area of the Thai capital.
A Thai official confirmed in Wednesday that Iranian suspects were behind the attack, which was aimed at assassinating Israeli diplomats.
Barak, who is currently in Tokyo, has said he spent several hours in Bangkok on Sunday, two days before the blasts. He then flew to Singapore before arriving in Japan on Wednesday.