One would hope that the terror attacks against Israeli embassy vehicles in New Delhi and Tbilisi did not come as a surprise to anyone. Tactically, there was of course a surprise – nobody knew exactly where, when and which vehicles would be attacked. What should not have come as a surprise is the fact that both Iran and its Hezbollah allies are not only willing and able to hit Israeli targets around the world, but that they will use the same methods used according to foreign sources by the Israeli Mossad to hit their own officers and scientists. The regrettable article published yesterday by Ron Ben-Yishai in which he mocked the lack of professionalism on the side of the attackers and compared the terror attacks to failed underworld elimination attempts should have ended its life in the writer’s waste basket rather than on a main news website. The terror planners of Iran and Hezbollah do not need advice from the distinguished columnist on how to improve their performance next time – they will do this on their own.
A month ago I wrote in the article about the retired senior security official who does not stop chattering And as for the idiotic uttering: “It’s not enough to guess. You can’t prove it, so you can’t retaliate” – I would have thought that after the humiliations of 2006 and 2008 senior security officials would have learnt some humility. The Iranians can definitely retaliate, both from the point of view of taking the decision to do it and the operational capability to carry it out. I would not be surprised if this time they will do it with brutality, at a time and a place that will take either Israelis or Jews by complete surprise. There is no better recipe for a disaster than not taking the enemy’s capabilities seriously.
This is of course not the first time in which an attempt is made to exact revenge on Israel for the elimination of Imad Mughniyah and the nuclear scientists. There were also several successful preventions aided by early intelligence. Iran and Hezbollah are well aware that Israeli and western intelligence bodies have penetrated their ranks many times and on this count they have also drawn their conclusions regarding the classification of information and the maintenance of secrecy before embarking on an action. This will be another area in which they will continually improve.
Yesterday’s events are undoubtedly the first swallows in a new wave of terror attacks against Israeli targets abroad and these targets will not be limited only to embassies and their staff – it is likely that high ranking Israeli officers and politicians travelling abroad would also be targeted. The assumption that the infiltration of Israel’s intelligence bodies into the enemy’s ranks would provide an advanced warning every time may prove painfully wrong. There is no better recipe for a disaster than not taking the enemy’s capabilities seriously.