A 2015 raid uncovered a Hezbollah-linked bomb factory just outside London, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Terrorists tied to Iran were caught in 2015 stockpiling tons of “explosive materials on the outskirts of London in a secret British bomb factory,” Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported on Sunday.
“Radicals linked to Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, stashed thousands of disposable ice packs containing ammonium nitrate – a common ingredient in homemade bombs,” the paper said.
The plot was discovered by MI5, Britain’s equivalent of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the London Metropolitan Police in 2015. However, details of it were only just released.
The British authorities found three metric tons of ammonium nitrate – an amount greater than that used in the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people – in four properties in northwest London, the Telegraph reports.
The London bomb factory was considered part of a wider plot by Hezbollah to lay the groundwork for future attacks around the world, the Telegraph reports. Cells were uncovered in New York, Thailand, and Cyprus. In the last, a Hezbollah agent was apprehended with 65,000 ice packs similar to those found in London.
Although the prime minister at the time, David Cameron, and then-Home Secretary Theresa May were notified of the discovery, it’s not clear why others in government weren’t. The Telegraph speculates that the raid may have been hidden from senior members of government and the public in order not to impact the Iran nuclear deal being negotiated at the time.
Ben Wallace, Britain’s Minister for Security and Economic Crime, told the paper, “The Security Service and police work tirelessly to keep the public safe from a host of national security threats. Necessarily, their efforts and success will often go unseen.”
The U.K. recently banned Hezbollah in its entirety, erasing the distinction it had drawn between the terror group’s military and political wings.
In February, Home Secretary Sajid Javid said, “Hezbollah is continuing in its attempts to destabilize the fragile situation in the Middle East, and we are no longer able to distinguish between their already banned military wing and the political party. Because of this, I have taken the decision to proscribe the group in its entirety.”
Hezbollah was already designated as a terrorist organization by Canada, the U.S., Israel, the Netherlands and the Arab League.
Source: World Israel News Staff