“If they’re not Jewish or Israeli targets… I couldn’t give two fucks… sorry.
… I’m sure you all understand why.”
Iran-Backed Terror Cells ‘Ready to Strike’ UK Experts Warn Amid Crisis COBRA Meeting Today – Report
Written by Shahriar Kia on 22 July 2019.
Iran’s regime is considered behind only Russia and China as the greatest threat to Britain’s security from a state actor among senior players in MI5 and MI6, according to Britain’s Express.
With the seizure of the British flagged Stena Impero oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, fears Tehran funded terror cells across Europe could be given the all-clear have intensified, the Express wrote on Monday.
The Daily Telegraph reported the cells are linked to Lebanese Hezbollah which is active in the Syrian Civil War.
It has been reported counter-terrorism police disrupted a cell in 2015 that was stockpiling tonnes of explosives.
Sources believe the cell was prepared to cause “a lot of damage” with “proper organised terrorism”.
An intelligence source said: “Iran uses proxies and they have control of a network of individuals linked to Hezbollah.
“Iran has Hezbollah operatives in position to carry out a terrorist attack in the event of a conflict. That is the nature of the domestic threat Iran poses to the UK.”
Iran’s regime has been blamed for cyberattacks in the UK, one on Members of Parliament in 2017 and another on Post Office, local government and private sector emails at the end of last year.
The UK Department of Transport have stated that the Steno Impero was in Omani waters when it was seized before being re-routed by the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and produced naval charts to support this claim.
The British Government described the incident, a response to the seizure of Panamanian flagged Grace I in Gibraltar, as “illegal” and wrote in a letter to the UN Security Council: “Current tensions are extremely concerning, and our priority is to de-escalate. We do not seek confrontation with Iran. But it is unacceptable and highly escalatory to threaten shipping going about its legitimate business through internationally recognised transit corridors.”
Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi said on Saturday: “The mullahs’ unbridled actions in the Persian Gulf for blackmail need a firm response by the international community. They should not be allowed to be emboldened. Force &firmness are the language they understand well. They must not be given the chance for further blackmail.”
The Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister Adel Aljubeir tweeted last night: “Iran must realise that its acts of intercepting ships, including most recently the British ship, are completely unacceptable. The world community must take actions to deter such behaviour.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May will chair an emergency COBRA meeting at 10.30am on Monday morning in response to the crisis.
Warning As Iran ‘Ready To Strike’ In The West Using Sleeper Terror Cells: Report
Last month, news emerged that a devastating cache of explosives had been discovered in London by security agencies back in 2015. The three tons of ammonium nitrate was “more than was used in the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people,” the Daily Telegraph reported. The lethal stockpile was linked to Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shi’a terror group that has been designated as a terrorist group—in whole or part—by much of the West. Hezbollah is sponsored by Iran, and back in 2015, the U.K. had just signed on to the Iranian nuclear deal. Nothing was made public.
Fast forward to 2019. Tensions continue to escalate in the Gulf between the U.S., its allies and Iran. The Iranians have seized a British oil tanker in a move designed to test London’s patience and restraint. The primary response to the incident has played out in the media. And, as I’ve written before, the media plays its part beyond just reporting events. The predictability of its response to events is part of the “enemy’s” planning process. The western media cycle is predictable, manageable, the thirst for the drip-drip of ever new headlines. And that also links to population interference through the abuse of social media platforms.
This is the hybrid warfare we now face, cyber and physical, military and civilian, direct and indirect. And on that last point, cue proxies. Iran has already mobilized its sphere of influence in the Middle East—attacks on Saudi targets will come to mind, and now comes the turn of sponsored terrorist groups operating in the West. Again as reported by the Daily Telegraph, “intelligence agencies believe Iran has organized and funded sleeper terror cells across Europe including the U.K. and could greenlight attacks in response to a conflict in the Gulf.”
The British tanker was seized by Iran’s military, arguably justifying a military response—but conflict is no longer that simple. Iranian quasi-state media carried footage of Iran’s flag being raised above the U.K. tanker the Stena Impero in Bandar Abbas. “Make no mistake,” Iran’s foreign minister warned the U.K. by Twitter the same day (Sunday July 21). “Having failed to lure Donald Trump into War of the Century… John Bolton is turning his venom against the U.K. in hopes of dragging it into a quagmire. Only prudence and foresight can thwart such ploys.” Also on Sunday, Iranian media reported that Iran’s U.K. ambassador had warned Britain “against provocation over the seized tanker, as reports emerged that the British government is considering freezing Iranian assets and may take other measures as well in a standoff between the two countries.”
We have been warned.
The Daily Telegraph report quoted an unnamed intelligence source saying that “Iran uses proxies and they have control of a network of individuals linked to Hezbollah—Iran has Hezbollah operatives in position to carry out a terrorist attack in the event of a conflict. That is the nature of the domestic threat Iran poses to the U.K.”
In both the physical and cyber domains, Iran can hit non-military targets (directly or through proxies) in retaliation (or preemptively) for U.S. axis action in the more conventional sphere. Physically, Iranian action is more akin to insurgency. And in the cyber domain, as I reported over the weekend, Iran understands that retaliation against the U.S. (or U.K.) might be akin to throwing rocks at a tank, but it can hit the vast and under-protected Western corporate sector at will. An Iranian cyber attack hit high-profile U.K. targets late last year, and two weeks after U.S. Cyber Command hit Iran’s command and control structure in the aftermath of the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, came its warning that an Iranian-led hack was targeting the millions of unpatched Microsoft Outlook systems.”
In the physical domain, Iran’s proxies in the Middle East have been mobilized for some time now—the mobilization of sleeper terror cells is in effect no different. The escalating conflict is multidimensional—cyber and physical, military and civilian. As we watch and wait to see what happens thousands of miles from home, the conflict is neither that simple nor that contained. The threat of proxy terrorist activity on Western soil is the physical manifestation of the same equation we have already seen in the cybersphere.
Also this week, Britain anoints a new prime minister, widely expected to be the hawkish Boris Johnson who is likely to align more closely on Iran with the U.S. administration than had his predecessor Theresa May. On the other side of British politics sits Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s left-leaning Labour Party. Corbyn naturally aligns with Teheran. He has presented Teheran-friendly propaganda on the country’s Press TV and has described Hezbollah as his “friends.”
We live in interesting times.
Iranian terrorist sleeper cells in the UK could be triggered to carry out attacks as tensions rise over seizing of oil tanker, security sources warn
- Islamic Republic is supporting terror cells across Europe, experts have warned
- Security chiefs fear that they could be deployed to the UK over oil tanker row
- Concerns comes after Iranian forces seized the British Stena Impero vessel
- Theresa May will chair emergency Cobra meeting Monday to talk strategy
Terrorists supported by Iran could strike Britain if tensions deepen between the two countries, senior intelligence sources claim.
Agencies believe that the Islamic Republic has funded sleeper cells across Europe, including in the UK.
Amid the escalating threat, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she will hold a meeting of Britain’s emergencies committee Monday to discuss strategy.
‘As well as receiving the latest updates from ministers and officials, the… meeting will discuss the maintenance of the security of shipping in the Persian Gulf,’ a Downing Street spokeswoman said Sunday. TV Footage of seized British oil tanker with Iran’s flag over it.
Stena Impero, a British-flagged vessel owned by Stena Bulk, is seen at Bandar Abbas port on Friday after being seized by Iran
It comes amid heightened concerns in MI5 and MI6 sparked by Tehran’s seizure of British oil tanker Stena Impero on Friday.
Lebanese militant group Hezbollah is linked to radicals that are operating the terror cells, a source told the Daily Telegraph.
Counter-terror officers broke apart a cell in 2015 when they found it stockpiling explosives in London.
The source told the paper: ‘Iran has Hezbollah operatives in position to carry out a terrorist attack in the event of a conflict. That is the nature of the domestic threat Iran poses to the UK.’
The Metropolitan Police and MI5 say that cells are widespread across Europe despite the 2015 disruption. They fear that cells in other European countries will be deployed to Britain.
Their thwarting of the 2015 plot only surfaced last month after authorities kept the ‘proper organised terrorism’ secret.
This footage was been broadcast on Iranian state TV and shows the seized British-registered oil tanker having an Iranian flag hoisted above it
Depleted: How the Royal Navy has shrunk in size in the past three decades
Agents blamed Iran for cyber attacks on the UK in 2017 when MPs and peers were hacked.
The Islamist regime is also thought to be responsible for an attack on local government networks, the Post Office and private companies last year. Those behind the attacks have links to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
The Conservative Party is split on the Stena Impero affair as Iain Duncan Smith accused Theresa May of a ‘major miscalculation’ after she turned down help from the US. President Donald Trump pledged to offer protection to British ships in the region.
Meanwhile Chancellor Philip Hammond denied that the government had taken its ‘eye off the ball’ as he spoke to The Andrew Marr Show on the BBC on Sunday.
Yesterday Iain Duncan Smith (right) told Andrew Marr (left) that Theresa May made a ‘major miscalculation’ by refusing US help in the Gulf
A radio exchange between Iranian armed forces, the oil tanker and a Royal Navy frigate that was unable to assist as it was too far away emerged yesterday.
The recording features an Iranian ordering the captain of the Stena Impero to change its course ‘immediately’.
In broken English, he can be heard saying: ‘If you obey you will be safe.’ Yesterday the Department for Transport revealed a chart showing that the tanker was in Omani waters when it was ‘interrupted’ by the Iranian forces.
The government blasted Iran, accusing it of ‘illegal interference’ over the seizure but said the UK does not seek confrontation.
Britain only has the Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose in the region plus four mine hunters, while the US as its Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain – which includes one aircraft carrier, one missile cruiser, five destroyers, two amphibious vessels and two or three submarines