UAE nabs Iranian terror squad plotting to attack Israelis

Israelis have been warned about visiting Dubai. The discovery of Iranian terror squad underscores the danger.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

An Iranian terror squad was broken up by UAE intelligence in the capital of Abu Dhabi and its most populous city, Dubai, media reports.

Israelis have visited the UAE in the thousands since the signing of the Abraham Accords on the White House Lawn on Sept. 15, 2020. From Iran’s point-of-view, they make a soft target and one easily reached.

Tensions have been particularly high in recent weeks as Israel went on high alert due to the approaching anniversary of the killing of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated by a U.S. drone strike on Jan. 3, 2020. Iran has repeatedly vowed revenge against both the U.S. and Israel, although the latter has not taken credit for being involved in the attack.

Israel’s National Security Council had also warned in late November of security threats to Israeli tourists in Dubai. But Israelis have largely ignored the warnings.

Dubai has been a prime location for carrying out kidnappings.

In 2000, a reserve colonel in the IDF, Elhanan Tannenbaum, was kidnapped in Dubai and and held for more than three years by Hezbollah in Lebanon. Although Tannenbaum was a shady character who had gone to Dubai to complete a drug deal, the IDF decided to do what it could to get him back given that he was privy to IDF information as part of his reserve service. He was returned as part of a prisoner swap in Jan. 2004.

In July 2020, Iran kidnapped a California man for being part of an Iranian dissident group. Jamshid Sharmahd was staying in Dubai.

“We’re seeking support from any democratic country, any free country,” his son Shayan Sharmahd told the AP. “It is a violation of human rights. You can’t just pick someone up in a third country and drag them into your country.”

Even the man portrayed in the 2004 film “Hotel Rwanda,” Paul Rusesabagina, was seized in Dubai in Sept. 2020. It appears he was nabbed on an arrest warrant by the Rwandan government. His daughter described it as a kidnapping.