Wednesday 3 April 2024

British Police Give Update On Assassination Attempt On Exiled Iranian Journalist

 Metropolitan Police in the U.K. said on Tuesday that the suspects behind the assassination attempt of an exiled Iranian journalist fled the country shortly after the attack.

Pouria Zeraati, the host Iran International’s “Last Word,” was stabbed by a group as he walked out of his home last week. He was hospitalized for a couple of days before being released.

The Met’s Counter Terrorism Command was leading the investigation into the attack given the specific threats that other journalists at the Persian-language news organization have received that have originated from Iranian intelligence officials.

“Detectives investigating a stabbing in Wimbledon, south London, believe three suspects were involved and have since recovered a vehicle linked to the attack,” the statement said. “Detectives have established the victim was approached by two men in a residential street and attacked. The suspects fled the scene in a vehicle driven by a third male.”

Investigators located the vehicle that was used to help the attackers escape and it is now being examined by forensic experts, police said.

“The investigation team has established that after abandoning the vehicle, the suspects travelled directly to Heathrow Airport and left the UK within a few hours of the attack,” the statement added.

Police did not mention the destination to which the suspects flew.


“We have established that after abandoning the vehicle, the suspects travelled to Heathrow Airport and have left the UK,” said Commander Dominic Murphy, Head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command. “We are now working with international partners to establish further details.”

Murphy said that police had still not made an official determination of why they believe that the victim was attacked and they are leaving all possibilities on the table.

The attack comes after Iran has repeatedly threatened journalists at the television station, including offering a criminal $200,000 to assassinate Iran International journalists Sima Sabet and Fardad Farahzad.

Iranian spies planned to target Iran International’s studios in London with a car bomb, the report said. However, they ditched their plan after leaders in the IRGC decided that a knife attack at the targets’ homes would be more effective because the studios had “many security guards.”

Matt Jukes, head of Counter Terrorism Policing in Britain, said in a “60 Minutes” interview last year that Iran uses proxies to carry out assassination attempts because they are typically “not being tracked by intelligence or security agencies.”

He said that the U.K. had foiled 15 Iranian kidnapping and assassination attempts in the last year.

“I have been involved in national security policing for over 20 years,” he said. “What we’ve seen in the last 18 months is a real acceleration.”

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