Israeli officials have warned that an Iranian terror squad in Europe may be planning to attack its athletes at the 2012 Olympic Games, sparking the largest security operation in peacetime Britain, The Sunday Times reported.
According to a report by the Sunday Times, more than 17,000 troops and 7,000 private security guards will secure the Olympic Park and 26 other venues, and an additional 12,500 police will be deployed to patrol London's streets in a "series of 'rings of steel.'"
The Sunday Times reports further that "panic rooms have been installed beneath the stadium as a haven for VIPs and spectators in the event of an attack."
MI5 and New Scotland Yard are reportedly thought to have raised their threat assessment in light of the terrorist attack in Bulgaria on Wednesday that killed 5 Israelis, the bus driver and a suicide bomber. In addition, the Sunday Times reports, the Israeli government has dispatched agents from the Shin Bet and Mossad to protect its 38-strong delegation.
The Mossad, says the Sunday Times, "is hunting a group of white Europeans who are thought to have converted to Islam and to be working with the Iranian Quds force and Hezbollah, the terrorist group backed by Tehran.
"One of the Israelis’ targets is thought to be a terrorist carrying a US passport under the name of David Jefferson, who is believed to have fled after the Burgas attack" and "is thought to have another powerful device" like that used in last week's bombing, said the report.
According to the Sunday Times, "Security experts say the Quds force — a unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards — has recruited a number of white European Islamic converts, including two Germans, one from Sweden and a couple of Britons."
New York police believe Iranian Revolutionary Guards or their proxies have been involved so far this year in nine plots against Israeli or Jewish targets around the world, according to restricted police documents obtained by Reuters.
Reports prepared this week by intelligence analysts for the New York Police Department say three plots were foiled in January, three in February and another three since late June. Iran has repeatedly denied supporting militant attacks abroad.
The documents, labeled "Law Enforcement Sensitive," said that this week's suicide bomb attack in Bulgaria was the second plot to be unmasked there this year.
The reports detail two plots in Bangkok and one each in New Delhi, Tbilisi, Baku, Mombasa and Cyprus. Each plot was attributed to Iran or its Lebanese Hezbollah militant allies, said the reports, which were produced following the bombing in Burgas, Bulgaria of a bus carrying Israeli tourists.
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