2018 Villepinte failed attack ‘designed by Iran’, Belgian investigation concludes

The annual gathering of the National Council of Iranian Resistance, which was targeted by a bomb, in Villepinte (Seine-Saint-Denis), in June 2018.

Belgian experts are categorical: the shock wave caused by the bomb could have extended over a hundred meters, claiming numerous victims and creating a potentially fatal panic movement given the number of people present. The device, based on acetone peroxide (or TATP) and remotely controlled, should have exploded on June 30, 2018 in Villepinte (Seine-Saint-Denis), during a meeting of the National Council of Iranian Resistance ( NCRI), a coalition of which the Iranian People’s Mujahedin Organization (PMOI) is the best-known component.

The attack was foiled at the last minute, in Brussels, the day the bomb was to be delivered to France. When the army deminers carefully detonated, their robot was destroyed and a policeman was injured: the device was “Sophisticated, the work of a professional”, concluded the specialists.

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European intelligence services – and more than likely the Israeli Mossad – had discovered the project fomented by four Iranians, who will be tried at the end of November, in Antwerp. The Belgian justice has, in fact, completed its investigation and its results are in line with the conclusions of the State Security: on February 20, Jaak Raas, head of the intelligence service, wrote to the federal prosecutor that “The attack plan was conceived on behalf of and under Iran’s leadership; it was not a personal initiative of Assadi. ”

Assadolah Assadi is the central figure in this case. This 49-year-old man was a diplomat in Iraq from 2003 to 2008, before being appointed third secretary at the Iranian embassy in Vienna, in 2014. According to the State Security, he mainly acted on behalf of the “Department”. 312 ”, a service of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) which appears on the list of terrorist organizations of the European Union.

Tehran denies any involvement

During his military training, Mr. Assadi was notably introduced to the manufacture of explosives and his main task was to collect information on Iranian opponents, in liaison with the foreign ministry.

According to the investigation carried out in Antwerp, Assadolah Assadi would have prepared for a year the plan for an attack in France. In fact, its presence was noted in 2017 in Villepinte, Auvers-sur-Oise – the headquarters of the NCRI – and near hotels where dignitaries were to stay. In 2018, the meeting was to bring together Ingrid Bettancourt, former candidate for the presidency of Colombia, Yves Bonnet, former boss of the French DST (Directorate of Territorial Surveillance), former Algerian Prime Minister Sid Ahmed Ghozali, Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York and attorney for Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, former Republican speaker of the US House of Representatives, and Bill Richardson, former US ambassador to the United Nations.

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