Iran expanded its terrorist activities to Africa where it has recruited an estimated 300 militants to attack the United States and other Western targets in retaliation for American sanctions against Tehran, the Daily Telegraph reported Monday.
The U.S. has deemed Iran the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
“Iran is setting up a new terrorist infrastructure in Africa with the aim of attacking Western targets,” an unnamed senior Western security source told the Telegraph. “It is all part of Tehran’s attempts to expand its terrorist operations across the globe.”
Details about the existence of Iran’s terror cell in Africa reportedly surfaced after a series of arrests in Chad in April.
Investigators reportedly learned that Iranian operatives are recruiting and training men between the ages of 25 and 35 to carry out terror attacks against Western targets in Africa.
Iran has already recruited an estimated 300 militants who have “have undergone rigorous training at Iranian-run training camps in Syria and Iraq,” the Telegraph noted.
The article came on the same day that U.S. President Trump’s administration implemented additional restriction on Iran as part of its maximum pressure campaign against the Shiite regime.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have intensified in recent months, particularly in the wake of an Iranian attack that brought down a U.S. drone.
Citing Western security officials on Monday, the Telegraph reported:
The new [Iranian] terror network [in Africa] has been established on the orders of Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Quds Force, the elite section of Iran’s Republican Guard Corps that has responsibility for overseas operations.
The aim of the new terror cell is to target US and other Western military bases on the continent, as well as embassies and officials.
The Iranian cells are said to be active in a number of African countries including Sudan, Chad, Ghana, Niger, Gambia, and the Central African Republic.
Under President Trump, the U.S. has designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organization, a move that further sanctioned Iran’s elite military unit.
Iranian Maj. Gen. Suleimani’s Quds force is a component of the IRGC. The Telegraph noted that the Quds force’s highly specialized “Unit 400” is charged with expanding Iran’s terrorist network to Africa.
Breitbart News has learned that Iran’s narco-terrorist proxy, the Lebanese Hezbollah, has already expanded its operations to Africa via its drug trafficking and money laundering activities in Latin America where the group maintains a substantial presence.
Hezbollah is known to move illicit drugs from Latin America to Europe through Africa.
Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita told Breitbart News in September 2018 that Iran has “infiltrated” his country, home to Europe’s only land border with Africa.
The minister warned that Iran was in the process of expanding into Sub-Saharan Africa, using its proxy Hezbollah.
Moreover, a U.S. House panel report acknowledged in December 2016 that Hezbollah’s drug trafficking and money laundering activities in Latin America extended to West Africa.
“Iranian and Hezbollah operatives have been arrested in the past several years in Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, and the United States – demonstrating the global reach of these networks,” Nathan Sales, a top U.S. Department of State (DOS) official told American lawmakers in November 2018.
Last Wednesday, Brian Hook, the U.S. Special Representative for Iran, also told American lawmakers that the U.S. economic sanctions had weakened Iran, asserting that they have hit Hezbollah particularly hard.
Hook’s revelation that Hezbollah is going broke came less than two years after Forbes designated the Shiite terrorist organization the wealthiest terrorist group in the world in January 2018 with an annual income of $1.1 billion, generated primarily by “aid funding from Iran, drug manufacture, and trade.”
According to Politico, former U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration turned a blind eye to Hezbollah’s drug trafficking activities in the Western Hemisphere to secure the signing of the controversial nuclear deal between Iran and the American-led world powers in 2015.
The Telegraph learned from anonymous Western intelligence that Iran has been working on establishing the terrorist networks in Africa for three years, since the signing of the nuclear pact.
President Trump pulled the United States out of the deal, arguing that it was not tough enough on Iran. As a result, the U.S. reimposed sanctions suspended under the agreement as part of an unprecedented wave of economic restrictions currently choking the Islamic Republic’s economy.
On Monday, the Trump administration imposed more sanctions on Iran, this time targeting supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and various military leaders.