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How Iran is establishing a global terrorist network against Israel

The Jewish state is not only under attack from its neighbours but also from many countries – writes Christine Kensche in De WELT.

WELT has received information from the secret services which proves that there is a trail up to the Sahara. A militia is being trained there against Israel – and its leaders are discussing dreadful plans over the phone.

Since the start of the Gaza war, Israel’s enemies have competed with threats and fantasies of extermination – and some are actively involved in supporting Hamas. The Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah fires rockets toward and into Israel almost daily, and terrorists have attempted to infiltrate the country through the northern border. Israeli communities near the border with Lebanon had to be evacuated.

Syrian activists have reportedly come forward to support the fight against Israel. The Huthi in Yemen officially declared war on Israel and targeted southern Israel with long-range missiles and drones, which were, however, shot down by a US military ship before they reached their target. In Iraq, Shiite militias attacked American military bases. The Algerian Parliament unanimously voted in favour of war against Israel. And even in the depths of Africa, militias welcome attacks on the Jewish State and offer support to its enemies.

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Iran is behind all these activities. The Shiite regime has woven a global network of militias which it supports with weapons, money and training and which it uses in return for its strategy of terror – against the West in general and the United States and Israel in particular.

As shown by reports from Western secret services and financial investigators, which WELT was able to consult exclusively, Tehran has been expanding its network for several years. Thus, Iran no longer supports only Shiite and Sunni organizations, but also those that have nothing in common with Israel and fundamentalist Islam.

The trail leads to the Sahara

The Polisario Front, a socialist militia based in the Tindouf refugee camps in southern Algeria, is a good example of how Tehran does this. The separatist movement, supported by Algeria, considers itself the true representative of the indigenous people of Western Sahara, the desert strip that stretches along the Atlantic coast. After a United Nations-sponsored ceasefire in 1991, the Polisario Front gave in when Morocco gained the upper hand. But in 2020, it resumed the fight against Morocco. The group controls a small part of Western Sahara and maintains a camp in the Algerian province of Tindouf, on the border with Morocco, where around 150,000 Sahrawis live.

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Due to its support for the Polisario Front, Morocco severed relations with Iran in 2018. Hezbollah, Iran’s most powerful militia, “sent military representatives to the Polisario, supplied weapons to the militia and trained them in urban warfare,” Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said at the time. Polisario members in Western Sahara have been supplied with surface-to-air missiles and drones by Tehran. Hezbollah, an ally of Iran, has set up camps in Algeria where it trains Polisario fighters.

While the leaders of the Polisario Front and Hezbollah have denied the accusations, Morocco has said it has an extensive file containing detailed reports and satellite images of meetings between Hezbollah and Polisario representatives in Algeria. Morocco claimed that Iran also helped organize meetings between the Polisario Front and Hezbollah through its embassy in Algeria. Last year, a representative of the Polisario Front claimed that Iran, through Algeria, was providing them with “kamikaze” drones to use against Morocco.

New reports from the secret services, which WELT was able to consult, support Morocco’s accusations. Thus, this newspaper has recordings and transcriptions of telephone conversations between representatives of the Polisario and an agent who presents himself as a contact for Hezbollah in Côte d’Ivoire. Mustafa Muhammad Lemine Al-Kitab is therefore the Polisario liaison agent in Syria and is responsible for the Middle East.

The agent inquired about the situation

In a conversation recorded on October 23, approximately two weeks after the attack on Israel during which Hamas massacred 1,400 people, the agent inquired about the situation with Lemine Al-Kitab. The Polisario man responds: “Praise be to Allah. Young people are encouraged by the victory of the resistance and the actions against the Jews and the victory over them everywhere.” And further: “I see that resistance is igniting everywhere. It broke out in Gaza, it can break out in the Golan (…) and in the south (of Lebanon, editor’s note) and in the farms of Chebaa, and “It will also break out in Western Sahara and there will be a unified resistance. Everyone will fire from a different place (on Israel, editor’s note).”

During the conversation, the so-called Hezbollah representative and the Polisario emissary discussed the possibility of joint attacks against Israel with Hamas, Hezbollah, Algeria and Iran. Lemine Al-Kitab offers to support the Polisario Front but emphasizes that its resources are not yet sufficient to attack the Israeli embassy in Morocco, for example. In other interviews, he calls for even more support from Hezbollah and Iran.

WELT already revealed at the beginning of the year the existence of a Hawala network operating from Spain and the Tindouf camps in Algeria and maintaining close contacts with the Polisario, Iran, Lebanon and Hezbollah. Hawala is an ancient method of transferring money without going through legal banks. For example, a person pays X amount to a “hawaladar” in Beirut. He informs his liaison officer in Algeria, who pays the sum to the beneficiary there, without the money having moved. The cash stocks of “Hawaladars” in Europe, Africa and the Middle East are balanced among themselves or, if necessary, by smuggling cash, jewellery or luxury watches. Iran hides its financial aid to Hezbollah, Hamas and probably also to the Polisario Front using Hawala networks whose financial flows are difficult to control.

Even more useful since the Abraham Accord

Iran, with the help of its proxies, has always attacked Arab States which, in the fundamentalists’ view, are “too Western” and moving closer to Israel. The socialist militia fighting against Morocco has become even more useful to Tehran since Morocco signed the Abraham Peace Accords with Israel. In return, the United States recognized the Moroccan claim to Western Sahara. The North African State has thus become the focus of Iranian attempts to destabilize the region.

And the Polisario is apparently arming itself in its fight against Morocco: Two weeks ago, rockets were fired at residential areas in the town of Smara, in Western Sahara controlled by Morocco. One man was killed and three others injured, according to Moroccan authorities. The Polisario Front is suspected.

Hamas also started “small”, with short-range missiles on southern Israel, and its projectiles now reach the heart of Israel. And its terrorist commandos managed to thwart the Israeli secret services. Mustafa Muhammad Lemine Al-Kitab, the Polisario envoy for the Middle East, has in any case already integrated the Hamas discourse: “This war is a war of jihad and resistance against the occupation and against the Zionist project” , he said in the recording of the telephone conversation of October 23, and “resistance has a price in terms of losses. We know that this freedom will have a high price, we will make sacrifices and martyrs, but in the end, we win”.

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