Skip to main content

Mossad says Iran behind attacks on Israeli targets in Sweden, Belgium

Two months before the Olympic Games in France, the Mossad warns that criminal organizations are acting on Iran's behalf to target Israelis and Jews across Europe.
A police car is seen outside the Israeli Embassy in Stockholm, Swedem, Jan. 31, 2024.

Criminal organizations across Europe have been recruited by Iran to target Israeli and Jewish targets across the continent, Israel’s Mossad said on Thursday.

According to the Mossad, Israel's spy agency, these attacks include an incident last weekend in which two grenades were thrown at the Israeli Embassy in Brussels, Belgium. No one was injured.

The Israeli Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, was targeted twice in recent months — at the end of January, when an explosive device was discovered on the embassy grounds, and then in mid-May, when gunshots were fired in the vicinity of the building. No injuries were reported. 

Criminal organizations in Sweden

The Mossad revealed that two Swedish crime organizations have been in contact with Iran and received funds to act against Israeli and Jewish targets in Europe.

The first is FOXTROT, which is known for large-scale trafficking and violent attacks and is considered by Swedish law enforcement the biggest crime organization in the country. Its head Rua Majid, a Swedish citizen of Kurdish origin nicknamed the “Kurdish Fox,” had been arrested in Iran for criminal activities but was later recruited by the Islamic Republic to carry out attacks in Europe against Israeli and Jewish targets, the Mossad said.

FOXTROT’s rival gang RUMBA was also allegedly recruited by Iran. It is headed by Ismail Abdo, who was behind the mid-May shooting attack near the Israeli Embassy in Sweden.

Fears ahead of Olympic Games in Paris

These revelations come just two months before the opening of the Olympic Games in Paris on July 26. French law enforcement agencies have said on multiple occasions that they are preparing for the possibility of terror groups planning attacks during the games. When asked by Al-Monitor Thursday about the potential threat the two groups posed for the Olympics, the French Foreign Ministry said it had no knowledge of the Sweden-based criminal entities planning attacks on French soil.

Mossad Director David Barnea has been warning of Iranian attempts to target Israelis and Jews in Europe. In September, Barnea revealed that in 2023, his agency and other Israeli agencies and international partners had foiled 27 Iranian plots against Israelis around the world, on almost every continent, including in Tanzania, Georgia, Cyprus, Greece and Germany.