Imad Mugniyah
Photo: Reuters

Counter Terror Bureau warns of Hizbullah kidnapping attempts abroad

Travel advisory warns of possible attempts by Shiite group to kidnap Israelis abroad, apparently as revenge for Imad Mugniyah's assassination; no concrete information where kidnapping attempts likely to occur

The Counter Terrorism Bureau issued a rare travel advisory on Wednesday warning of possible attempts by Hizbullah to kidnap Israelis abroad, apparently as revenge for the assassination of the Shiite group's senior commander Imad Mugniyah in Damascus earlier this year.


Israel has obtained intelligence on possible methods Hizbullah may employ during the kidnapping attempts, but has no concrete information where the kidnapping attempts are likely to occur.


Ben-Gurion Airport (Photo: AP)


The Bureau has posted a list of preventive measures Israelis can take to reduce the risk of being kidnapped, calling on the hundreds of thousands of Israelis currently overseas "to be on the lookout for any irregular occurrences, reject any unexpected business-related or other offers, and prevent the entrance of strangers or suspicious figures into hotel rooms and apartments."


'Don't go to the same restaurants'

According to the travel advisory, Israelis should "avoid staying in remote locations, especially at nighttime, and make sure to be accompanied by reliable escorts when going out on the town or to business meetings."


The Bureau further advised Israelis to "avoid staying in one place for long periods of time, refrain from staying in one hotel, avoid using the same travel route and avoid going to the same restaurants and places of entertainment."


In 2000 Hizbullah succeeded in kidnapping Israeli businessman Elhanan Tennenbaum after luring him to the Gulf on a drug deal. He was released from captivity in 2004 in a prisoner swap in which Israel freed 400 Palestinians and 29 other Arabs.


About six months ago Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah warned that the Shiite group would look to avenge Mugniyah's death outside of Lebanon. Following Nasrallah's statement the Bureau issued a travel advisory warning of possible attempts to kidnap Israelis abroad.


Mugniyah was killed on February 12, 2008 by a car bomb blast around 11 pm local time in the Kfar Suseh neighborhood of Damascus, Syria. He had reportedly been the target of the Israeli Mossad in the 1990s, but Israel denied being behind the killing.


פרסום ראשון: 08.20.08, 17:10
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