The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has launched a new terror offensive against Iranians, their followers and other Shiites. It was kicked off Sunday, Feb. 2 with an attack on a Damascus bus carrying Lebanese Shiite pilgrims to shrines in Syria. Nine people were killed and at least 20 injured. ISIS has set its sights next on the Muslim Shiite heartland, Iran and its cities – especially the capital Tehran.
The Damascus bus attack is ascribed by some sources to a Saudi suicide bomber by the name of Abu al-Ezz al-Ansari. The claim that the Syrian rebel Jabhat al-Nusra was the perpetrator was false, say debkafile’s intelligence and counter-terrorism sources. This group does not go in for Saudi recruits and certainly not suicide bombers of that ilk.
ISIS fingered Nusra to conceal its own responsibility for the attack and its real target. Our sources reveal that the Islamic State attacked the Shiite pilgrims in order to get at a high-ranking officer of Hizballah’s armed wing, who was on the bus.
Hizballah headquarters in Beirut has imposed deep hush on his death and identity. But because they could not pretend the bus explosion did not happen, they pinned it Monday on “takfir [infidel] groups” which they say collaborate with Israel.
This attack revealed most significantly that Hizballah has begun covering the tracks in Syria of its top Hizballah men by inserting them among Shiite pilgrims traveling by bus from Lebanon to Damascus. They are camouflaging the movements of their top men in Syria by an elaborate security net, ever since an Israeli air strike on Jan. 18, killed around nine Hizballah and Iranian officers, including the Iranian general, Ali Allah Dadi.
Still, ISIS agents were able to find the bus and blow it up, indicating deep hostile penetration of the Iranian and HIzballah forces assigned to Syria to fight for Bashar Assad.
Conscious of the Islamic State’s next plans, the Iranian Al Qods Brigades commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, paid an unscheduled visit to Beirut last Thursday, Jan. 29, for urgent talks with Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah and briefings for the organization’s military council members. Their most pressing concern was the detailed ISIS program, which is ready to go, for a broad new campaign of terror against Iranian and pro-Iranian targets in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and the Iranian homeland.