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Peru detains Iranian, two others over plot to kill Israelis

The suspects were sentenced to 18 months of preventative detention over an alleged plot to murder two Israelis.

A Peruvian National Police car. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
A Peruvian National Police car. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

A Peruvian judge on Tuesday ordered 18 months of preventative detention for an Iranian and two Peruvians over an alleged plot to kill two Israelis in the South American country, according to the Associated Press.

Peruvian police and prosecutors said that the Iranian, Majid Azizi, could be a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, which conducts Tehran’s overseas terror operations.

On March 15, the Israeli embassy in Lima thanked local authorities for arresting Azizi and “having dismantled an Iranian attack that was directed against an Israeli citizen.”

According to prosecutors, Azizi contacted Peruvians Walter Loja and Ángelo Trucios last month to plan the killing of Israeli Shachar Malka.

Malka’s social media identify him as a tour guide and healer using traditional plants in Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incas. The other Israeli target reportedly was Gilad Duchovny, who opened a cafe in Cusco in 2006.

Police found information about Malka and Duchovny in Azizi’s Lima house. According to the judge, the plot “has been established with a high degree of plausibility.”

“We had to act quickly, because today [Azizi] was set to return to Iran after forming a terrorist cell to wipe out an Israeli national,” Gen. Oscar Arriola, chief of Peruvian police, said in a press conference last month. He added that Azizi has been living in Peru since 1997 and holds Peruvian nationality by marriage.

Iran and its proxy Hezbollah have been operating in South America for decades. Hezbollah bombed the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992, killing 22 people and wounding 242. Two years later, the Iran-backed terrorist group was responsible for the bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) Jewish cultural center, which left 85 people dead and close to 300 wounded.

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