Before Deadly Bulgaria Bombing, Tracks of a Resurgent Iran-Hizbullah Threat

(Foreign Policy) Sebastian Rotella - After a decade in which al-Qaeda dominated the world stage, the global terror threat from Iran has escalated sharply, generating a swarm of recent plots from Delhi to Mombasa to Washington and signaling an aggressive new strategy, counterterror officials say. On July 18, a suspected suicide bomber killed six people and wounded 30 aboard an Israeli tourist bus in a coastal town in Bulgaria. Israel quickly accused Hizbullah and Iran. If the allegations are true, Iran and Hizbullah have crossed a dangerous line with their first strike in Europe in more than 15 years. There has been a string of plots attributed to the Shiite alliance, 10 cases in the past year alone. The offensive led by the Quds Force, Iran's elite foreign operations unit, has displayed impressive reach and devastating potential. "The Hizbullah-Quds Force threat is the big thing worldwide right now," a U.S. counterterror official said. "There has been a wave of activity." Bulgarian authorities say the bomber and the accomplice, who apparently remains at large, arrived by plane about a month earlier. The bomber is believed to have flown in via Germany and the accomplice via Belgium, according to U.S. and European officials. "I am convinced the origin of this attack is Shiite," an Italian counterterror official said.

2012-08-01 00:00:00

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