Iran Foils Plan to Bomb Holy City, Arrests More Than 130 Extremists

Intelligence Minister says authorities had seized explosive belts and other weaponry before Jerusalem Day, a memorial held July 25.

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Haaretz
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Iran's armed forces march during an annual military parade marking the 34th anniversary of outset of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, Iran, Sept. 22, 2014.
Iran's armed forces march during an annual military parade marking the 34th anniversary of outset of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, Iran, Sept. 22, 2014.Credit: AP
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Haaretz

A senior Iranian official said the country has foiled a plan to bomb one of its holy cities, confiscating explosives and arresting more than 130 members of extremist groups, a media report says.

Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, speaking to members of the country's parliament, said the authorities seized two explosive belts, among other weaponry, before Jerusalem Day, a memorial held on the last Friday before the end of the Ramadan holiday, AFP reported. That day was July 25.

He did not say when the people were arrested, AFP reported, citing the ISNA news service. But the news service said he used the term Takfiris, which refers to Islamist militants in groups like Islamic State or the Al-Nusra Front, the Syrian affiliate of Al-Qaida.

The minister's remarks make clear that Shi'ite Iran is under threat from Sunni militant groups, AFP reported. Iran backs Syria's Bashar Assad and sent advisers and arms to Iraq when it was attacked by Islamic State this summer, the news service reported.

Islamic State is trying to form a caliphate in Iraq and Syria. It's currently under attack from the United States and other countries, including the Gulf Arab nations.

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