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ISIS Plots Terror Attacks Inside Tehran. Hizbullah VIP Killed in Damascus Bus Blast

By DEBKAfile

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has launched a new terror offensive against Iranians, their followers and other Shiites. It was kicked off Sunday with an attack on a Damascus bus carrying Lebanese Shiite pilgrims to shrines in Syria. Nine people were killed and at least 20 injured. ISIS has set its sights next on the Muslim Shiite heartland, Iran and its cities – especially the capital Tehran.

The Damascus bus attack is ascribed by some sources to a Saudi suicide bomber by the name of Abu al-Ezz al-Ansari. The claim that the Syrian rebel Jabhat al-Nusra was the perpetrator was false, say DEBKAfile's intelligence and counter-terrorism sources. This group does not go in for Saudi recruits and certainly not suicide bombers of that ilk.

ISIS fingered Nusra to conceal its own responsibility for the attack and its real target. Our sources reveal that the Islamic State attacked the Shiite pilgrims in order to get at a high-ranking officer of Hizbullah's armed wing, who was on the bus.

Hizbullah headquarters in Beirut has imposed deep hush on his death and identity. But because they could not pretend the bus explosion did not happen, they pinned it Monday on "takfir [infidel] groups" which they say collaborate with Israel.

This attack revealed most significantly that Hizbullah has begun covering the tracks in Syria of its top Hizbullah men by inserting them among Shiite pilgrims traveling by bus from Lebanon to Damascus. They are camouflaging the movements of their top men in Syria by an elaborate security net, ever since an Israeli air strike on January 18, killed around nine Hizbullah and Iranian officers, including the Iranian general, Ali Allah Dadi.

Still, ISIS agents were able to find the bus and blow it up, indicating deep hostile penetration of the Iranian and Hizbullah forces assigned to Syria to fight for Bashar Assad. Conscious of the Islamic State's next plans, the Iranian Al Qods Brigades commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, paid an unscheduled visit to Beirut last Thursday for urgent talks with Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah and briefings for the organization's military council members.

Their most pressing concern was the detailed ISIS program, which is ready to go, for a broad new campaign of terror against Iranian and pro-Iranian targets in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and the Iranian homeland.

Germany to Investigate Suspected Female Nazi Guard


German prosecutors announced on Monday they had opened an investigation into a 93-year-old woman who is suspected of forcing prisoners on an evacuation march in 1945 during which about 1,400 women died, the Guardian (UK) reported.

Hamburg prosecutors' spokesman Carsten Rinio confirmed that his office had begun investigating Hilde Michnia last week, after a social worker from the northern town of Lüneburg filed charges against her.

Michnia is suspected of serving as a guard in the Bergen-Belsen and Gross-Rosen concentration camps, and having been part of evacuating the latter camp in 1945. Nearly three-quarters of the 2,000 female prisoners forced onto the march are thought to have died.

The social worker filed the charges against her after seeing a documentary on Irish television last September, in which Bergen Belsen survivor Tomi Reichental attempted to interview Michnia. In the documentary, Michnia admitted to taking part in the evacuation.

"She said herself, three times, `I was on the death march.' I thought, hang on, there have to be some consequences if such important information is in [the film]," the social worker, Hans-Jürgen Brennecke, told the Guardian. "When I realized that no one had done anything yet, I thought: this can't be," he added. "It bothers me that so much is still kept silent, or misrepresented. I just want the facts to come out. Everyone is allowed to have opinions, but we need to know the facts. We're still not finished with it."

Michnia, called Lisiewicz during World War II, has previously been convicted for her work as a concentration camp guard, according to the Guardian. She was one of a group 45 SS guards put on trial by the British occupying forces in 1945. Survivor Dora Almaleh testified that Michnia had beaten two men for stealing turnips from the kitchen, and Michnia was sentenced to a year in prison and released in November 1946.

In an interview with Die Welt newspaper published last weekend, Michnia dismissed the 1945 proceedings as a "show trial", and said she had not seen any atrocities, because she had only ever worked in the kitchens. "I didn't see any of it," she reportedly said. "That was all in a completely different part of the camp." When Die Welt asked her if she knew she was under investigation, she reportedly replied, "No, but they won't find anything."

Germany has begun a crackdown on Nazi war criminals in recent years, following the 2011 Munich trial of John Demjanjuk, a Nazi war criminal charged of assisting in the murder of 28,060 people at the Sobibor death camp and sentenced to five years. The former Nazi died in 2012. Last May, Germany said it was investigating some 20 former guards at the Majdanek death camp who could be charged with accessory to murder.

News of the investigation against Michnia came just hours after it was announced that a 93-year-old former Auschwitz death camp officer will go on trial in Germany in April on charges of at least 300,000 counts of accessory to murder

Islamic State Terror Cell in Israel Slaughtered Sheep as Part of Training


The Israeli-Arab terror cell charged two weeks ago with attempting to join the Islamic State trained for the fighting in Syria and Iraq by slaughtering sheep. The Haifa District Court on Monday extended the cell members' remand for the duration of the proceedings against them.

The seven suspects from northern Israel turned to reporters present at the court Monday, denying the allegations attributed to them. According to the indictment, six of the suspects used to meet and plan their trip to Syria to join the Islamic State. During the meetings in the Sakhnin area, the six would argue about whether to support the Islamic State or Jabhat al-Nusra. Eventually, they decide to join the Islamic State in June of 2014.

Later, the six met Adnan Jamil Ala a-Din, a 39-year-old former public defender from Nazareth, who has branded himself the "Islamic State chief of staff in Palestine," whom they contacted via Facebook.

According to the indictment, the members of the cell trained in a farm in Kafr Manda owned by the attorney. They learned how to ride horses and how to prepare Molotov cocktails and purchased sheep to slaughter them as part of their training. When asked to comment on the indictment filed against him, Attorney Ala a-Din cursed at the reporters.

Another defendant said that "there's no basis to all of the accusations, we have nothing to do with Daesh (Islamic State) or any other organization. I still don't understand why they arrested me."

A third defendant said "it's all lies. I think the arrests were made so Prime Minister Netanyahu's support rate will increase on our expense. We're ahead of elections and he just wants to prove himself. We're sure we didn't support Daesh and all that is attributed to us lacks evidence."

Family members of the accused also responded to the indictment, saying "we're sure they'll be released, they didn't commit any crime." The defendants' lawyers said they will respond to the indictment after studying it.

Swedish City Prevents Jewish Couple from Homeschooling Children


A Jewish couple is standing trial in Sweden over its decision to home school its children according to their religious belief.

Chabad emissaries Alexander and Leah Namdar live in Gothenburg with their 11 children. Due to a lack of Jewish schools in the city, they decided to home school their children in order to assure they receive proper traditional Jewish education, as well as all the other subjects prescribed by the national curriculum, and protect their physical safety, which is coming under ever-increasing threat from anti-Semitic behavior.

Three years ago, the couple was informed that the local Municipality had banned them from educating their children at home, having deemed that "there is no need of a law to make possible homeschooling based on the religious or philosophical views of the family." The municipality filed a lawsuit against them, requiring them to send their young children to the local public school.

Aided by Jews from around the world, The Namdars appealed the court decision. Public pressure helped and they won the case at the Appeal Court. But the city continued to mount pressure and submitted another lawsuit which was also rejected.

Last week, on International Holocaust Memorial Day, the parents faced another trial in which judges were to address whether the state education law permits the homeschooling of children for religious reasons, or whether Jewish parents will be forced to send their children to public schools.

The Namdar couple claims that the municipality's motives are anti-Semitic and are the result of a documentary about them which was aired on Swedish television. The couple emphasizes that "our children receive proper education as well or better than any other Swedish child."

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, general director of the European Jewish Association, has called upon the Swedish authorities to cease all legal proceedings against Rabbi Namdar and his wife. "EU officials were also updated on the case" , said Margolin, who concluded: "How sad and symbolic that as we mark International Holocaust Memorial Day, there is still a need to fight for the right of Jews to educate their children according to their faith."

Iran to Host Holocaust Denial Cartoon Competition


An Iranian cultural center announced a plan to hold a competition for Holocaust denial cartoons, in response to the massacre targeting the Charlie Hebdo magazine after it published cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

Iran's House of Cartoon and the Sarcheshmeh Cultural Complex organized the competition, according to the Independent, and invited participants to submit satirical drawings on the subject of Holocaust denial by the beginning of April. The competition announced a $12,000 prize for the winner, with prizes of $8,000 and $5,000 for second and third place, respectively.

Masud Shojaei-Tabatabaii, the organizer of the competition, said the cartoons would be displayed at the Palestine Museum of Contemporary Art in Tehran before being shown in other parts of the capital.

The competition is the second of its kind in Iran. In 2006, Hamshahiri, the country's most popular newspaper, announced a search for the "cleverest" cartoons satirizing the genocide of Europe's Jews. The newspaper said the competition was a reaction to the "double standard" in the West about freedom of expression.

The winner of the first competition, Abdellah Derkaoui of Morocco, depicted a crane painted with the Star of David building a wall around the Dome of the Rock; the wall bears an image of the Auschwitz death camp.

Following the publication of Charlie Hebdo's first post-massacre issue, Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi said showing another image of Mohammed "is equivalent to a declaration of war against all Muslims."

Tehran's foreign ministry declared that the new issue was "provoking Muslim sensitivities around then world, and could spark the flame of cruel radicalism." Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said that "if we do not respect one another, it will be very difficult in a world of different views, different cultures and civilizations."

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