Thailand recently intercepted a Hezbollah-linked terror plot. Many terror experts continue scratching their heads wondering why Hezbollah would have an interest in Thailand. Some believe it just does not make any sense. When connecting the dots, Thailand may or may not have been the real target; rather, a possibility exists that Hezbollah’s intent was to attack a nearby nation state. Either way, Iranian assets targeting Southeast Asia makes perfect sense.
Thai police officers carried boxes of fertilizer and ammonium nitrate confiscated from a warehouse near Bangkok on Monday (AP).
First and foremost, it’s critical to accept the fact Iran has been conducting worldwide attacks against U.S. interests since 1979
. It is also critical to understand that Hezbollah is an Iranian asset. They were created similarly to Iran’s Al Quds Forces through the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp
. If this is understood, it will assist in better comprehension for those concerned about this week’s Hezbollah-Thailand terror plot.
The IRGC, either through their own mainframe or through their puppets Hezbollah and or Al Quds, maintains world-wide operational capabilities. These operations include terrorism along with drugs, cigarettes, merchandise, and even training terrorist groups for profitable adventures. On top of that, Iran established global financial institutions through its Central Bank and its hundreds of Bonyad
They maintain operations throughout the entire continent of Africa, predominantly dealing with the drug and diamond industries
. Throughout Latin America
, Iranian assets have not only financially strengthened themselves through the drug market but also by working alongside narco-terrorists such as Columbia’s FARC and Mexico’s Zetas. In Asia, Iranian assets have assisted in training Shiite terror groups in Pakistan
, established incredibly close diplomatic ties with China and North Korea, and enjoy the riches founded in Bangkok’s underground
. Iranian assets even operate throughout North America
Knowing how deep the Iranian global terror nexus is, it’s time to attempt answering the mystery about Thailand. I can think of two key possibilities as to why Iranian assets would target Southeast Asia. First, the region is a heavily populated tourist attraction for U.S. and Israeli citizens.
While Thailand’s security apparatus is much greater than that of Bali
, where in 2002 and 2005 Islamist terrorist from Jemaah Islamiyah targeted its night clubs, Thailand’s security is marginal at best, making numerous soft targets accessible. Such a terror plot could be retribution for the recent mystery assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists
and the recently imposed international sanctions against Iran for its continued nuclear ambitions. This is the more likely of the two reasons Iranian assets would target Southeast Asia.
However, to add a second possibility of Iran’s ambitions to target Southeast Asia, Iran has recently been disgruntled by a major Asian oil supplier--Petronas
. Thailand’s southern neighbor, Malaysia, is the headquarters for Petronas. The company previously averaged a shipment of 15,000-20,000 barrels of oil a day to Iran yet they halted their shipments in mid-March. This is a blow to Iran considering they are stockpiling their oil reserves in preparation for tough times soon to come. There is a slight possibility that this recent terror plot was not actually intended for Thailand--rather, its neighbor Malaysia.
U.S. intelligence has been heavily fixated on Al Qaeda. Today, we are learning that our focus on Al Qaeda needs to dramatically shift towards Iran and its terror apparatuses, which include Hezbollah and Al Quds, both falling under direction of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp. If a war were to begin against Iran, these are the outfits we would be fighting against. They are extremely capable of unleashing global chaos and have proven such capabilities since 1979. No nation is safe from an Iranian-led attack, as observed earlier this week in Southeast Asia.
Kerry Patton, a combat service disabled veteran, is a senior analyst for WIKISTRAT and owner of IranWarMonitor.com. He has worked in South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, focusing on intelligence and security and interviewing current and former terrorists, including members of the Taliban. He is the author of Sociocultural Intelligence: The New Discipline of Intelligence Studies and the children's book American Patriotism. You can follow him on Facebook.