CST Blog

18 times Iran has targeted Jews or Israelis: man on trial in Berlin this week

9 March 2017

Haider Syed Mustafa, a 31-year-old Pakistani man, went on trial in Berlin this week. Mustafa has been accused of collecting information on Jewish and Israeli targets in Germany and France. This is not the first time Iran, or Iranian operatives, have targeted Jews and Israelis in suspected terror plots or been found to have collected information and Jews and Israelis.

According to this report from the Associated Press:

"Haider Syed Mustafa is accused of having collected extensive information for an elite unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guard on Reinhold Robbe, the former head of the German-Israeli Association in Berlin, and Daniel Rouach, a French-Israeli professor from the Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Paris university.

No pleas are entered in the German system and Mustafa refused to make a statement as the trial opened.

According to prosecutors, Mustafa collected large amounts of information including photos and video of the two men, and details of their workplaces, homes, families and acquaintances as well as the neighborhoods and public transportation they frequented. He then allegedly sent the information to a contact called "Mahmud" who passed it on to the Iranian Quds Force unit.

Prosecutor Michael Greven told the Berlin state court that Mustafa, who came to Germany in 2012 to study for an engineering degree at the University of Bremen, collected the information on Robbe and Rouach between July 2015 and July 2016 on trips to both Berlin and Paris. He spent several days in both cities and "apparently clandestinely" shot more than 900 photos and dozens of videos with a digital camera and with his iPhone. Separately, he also collected information on the Jewish newspaper Juedische Allgemeine in Berlin."

Since September 1986, Iran, or it’s proxy Hizbollah, have targeted Jews or Israelis at least 18 times:

  1. September 1986: the bombings of Jewish communal institutions in Paris by Lebanese Shiites under Hizbollah control.
  2. 1992: a failed car bombing against a Jewish community building in Bucharest, later discovered to have been carried out by Hizbollah.
  3. March 1992: the murder of Ehud Sadan, the Security Chief at the Israeli Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.
  4. January 1993: the failed attempted murder of the Head of the Turkish Jewish Community, Jak Kamhi.
  5. July 1994: the truck bomb attack against the Buenos Aires Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) headquarters, now known to have been ordered by Iranian government leaders, which killed 85 people.
  6. December 1994: the expulsion of the Iranian-born head of the Shiite community in Malmo, Sweden for gathering operational intelligence against the local Jewish community.
  7. May 2008: the failed attempt to blow up the Israeli Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan
  8. May 2010: the failed attempt to murder Israeli Consul, Moshe Kimchi, in Turkey.
  9. January 2012: a Lebanese man with alleged links to Hizbollah arrested on suspicion of planning to carry out attacks against Israeli targets.
  10. February 2012: the failed attempted car bombing of the Israeli embassy in Thailand.
  11. February 2012: the foiled plot to assassinate Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak during a visit to Singapore.
  12. February 2012: the bombing of an Israeli embassy car in New Delhi, India, which wounded the wife of the Israeli defence attaché.
  13. February 2012: the foiled attempt to bomb an Israeli diplomatic car in Tbilisi, Georgia.
  14. July 2012: Nairobi Hebrew Congregation Synagogue in Kenya targetted by two suspected Iranian agents.
  15. July 2012: the suicide bomb attack on a bus in Burgas, Bulgaria, against Israelis which killed 6 people and injured 32.  
  16. July 2012: the arrest of an alleged Hezbollah operative in Cyprus who claimed he was told to collect information on Jews in order to target them.
  17. January 2013: the foiled attempt to murder two Israelis employed by the Chabad Jewish school in Baku, Azerbaijan.
  18. February 2013: three men arrested in Lagos, Nigeria, suspected of carrying out hostile reconnaissance of American and Israeli targets on behalf of Iran.

Mustafa, who is the subject of the current Berlin trial, studied engineering after arriving in Germany in 2012. He collected over 900 photographs and videos in Berlin and Paris, including of Jewish and Israeli targets. He also collected information about Juedische Allgemeine, a Jewish newspaper in Berlin. If found guilty, Mustafa faces a possible five years in prison.

[Image credit: La Nación

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