Israel's intelligence agency, Mossad, has reportedly foiled multiple plans by Iran to attack Israeli tourists and businessmen in African nations, amid increasing tensions and covert activity between the two countries.
According to a report by Israel's Channel 12, Israelis visiting Tanzania, Senegal and Ghana were targeted by five Iranian suspects who possessed African passports. The suspects were allegedly recruited by the Quds Force branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) and were trained in Lebanon before being sent back to Africa under the cover of religious students.
Their plans to find and carry out attacks against Jewish and Israeli targets were then foiled by local intelligence agencies who arrested the suspects, after receiving information on them by "Western spies." Although Mossad was mentioned, its role was not revealed or expanded upon.
The report, if true, comes after months of reported espionage operations carried out between Tel Aviv and Tehran. The Cypriot news outlet Philenews, for example, reported last week that a national from Azerbaijan was found with a pistol and silencer in his care and was then arrested. He was afterwards alleged to have been an assassin assigned to target "Israelis with business activity in Cyprus."
Back in February, the New York Times also reported that Iranian operatives in Ethiopia were recruited to attack diplomats from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to its normalization with Israel.
Iran has, until now, rejected such reports as "baseless." They represent the increasing covert activity between the two countries in recent years, however, especially amid the ongoing international talks on Iran's nuclear program and Israel's assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, last year.