Iranian terror plot in Azerbaijan broken up

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Posted on: 
26 Jan 2012
Iranian terror plot in Azerbaijan broken up

Reports surfaced in recent days of two Azerbaijani citizens, Rasim Farail Aliyev and Ali Huseynov, who have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in a plot to assassinate the Israeli ambassador in Baku, Michael Lotem, with plans to also attack a Jewish school in the city. A third suspect, Balaqardash Dadashov, an Azerbaijani citizen and resident of the nearby Iranian city of Ardabil, is still at large. Azerbaijan's Security Ministry announced that he had reason to beleive Iranian intelligence agencies offered the three Azerbaijanis $150,000 to carry out the plot. Israeli President Shimon Peres thanked his Azerbaijani counterpart on Wednesday for successfully foiling the attack. Aliyev, according to Peres' office, said the plot showed "to what degree we are in a difficult and dangerous neighborhood.”

Hamas seeks move to Jordan as Syria loses appeal
PA breaks off talks in Amman

Hamas chief Khaled Mishaal, who recently announced that he will step down from his position at the end of his current term, will reportedly visit Jordan next week as a guest of King Abdullah, as rumors fly about the pressure the King is under from the Jordanian branch of the Moslem Brotherhood, of which Hamas is the Palestinian branch. The visit, which will include meetings with several Jordanian officials, is being treated like an official state visit, and a source in Hamas told the Jordan Times that it would include a request for Hamas to have a “permanent presence” in Jordan, stopping short requesting to re-open an official political office in Amman. The reports have fueled speculation that the Islamist terror militia is looking for a new home as its position in Damascus deteriorates. In related news, the talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority being conducted in Amman had an anticlimactic ending Wednesday evening, as the PA refused to budge from its demands for Israel to freeze building in settlements before holding any further contact with Israel.

Palestinian students seek to study at Israeli tech school
A group of Palestinian educators from the West Bank has requested to send students to Israel to study agricultural techniques. Arava Research and Development, near Hatzeva, is a large complex which houses the most up-to-date research and technology for teaching such techniques. It is funded and run by the Israeli government and the Jewish National Fund, providing 10-month courses for hundreds of students from Israel, as well as many countries around the world. “We are trying to see how we can create a joint venture with these guys, in order to send Palestinian students…to get training here,” said Ibrahim Barakat, member of the board of directors of the Ramallah and Gaza based firm Harvest Export.

Russia reiterates resistance to ‘interference’ in Syria
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov issued a statement after meeting his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu in Moscow on Wednesday that “we are open to constructive proposals that go in line with the set task of ending violence,” in Syria. Lavrov made clear, however, that Russia would not allow any UN Security Council action which left the door open for “outside interference” in Syria, such as what occurred last summer in Libya. Even as Lavrov spoke, reports surfaced of a fierce bombardment by troops loyal to Syrian president Bashar Assad on the historic city of Hama. Opposition groups spoke of Assad loyalists using heavy weapons to fire into residential neighborhoods in a live-fire reenactment of the massacre which Assad’s father carried out in the city in 1982.

German funders of +972 Blog criticized
On Wednesday, the Jerusalem-based media-watchdog group NGO Monitor criticized a powerful leftist research foundation in Germany headed by Green Party political activist Heinrich Böll for funding the online magazine +972, which takes its name from Israel’s international calling code number. “Heinrich Böll’s decision to support +972 fulfills no humanitarian purpose and does not foster peace and mutual understanding,” Professor Gerald Steinberg, head of NGO Monitor, told The Jerusalem Post. “This funding helps provide a platform used to demonize Israel. Why is German taxpayer funding going to this counterproductive activity?” A spokesperson for the Böll Foundation replied that it didn’t agree with everything on the site, it didn’t want to interfere in freedom of the press.


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