2012/02/17

Police deny reports of plot to kill Barak in Singapore


SINGAPORE, February 16, 2012 (AFP) - Singapore police on Thursday denied media reports that they had foiled a plot to assassinate Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak while he was in the city-state.

"The report is untrue. No such incident occurred in Singapore," the police said in a statement emailed to AFP.

In Jerusalem, an Israeli defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP: "We have no knowledge of this."

The Israeli press had published a report from Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida that Singaporean authorities had, together with Israeli spy agency Mossad, foiled an assassination plot against Barak.

He was in the city-state to attend the Singapore Airshow this week and hold talks with officials, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post.

The report added that three members of a Hezbollah-Iranian terror cell were arrested by Singapore authorities, and that they planned to try to assassinate Barak at his hotel.

The information on the plot was obtained by Mossad, which alerted Singapore before Barak's visit, according to the report.

AFP reporters who covered the airshow did not see Barak at the industry trade fair, which started on Tuesday, and security did not seem unusually tight.

The report comes as Israeli security agencies are on alert worldwide after the Jewish state blamed Iran over a failed bomb plot in Bangkok, as well as attacks on Israeli embassy staff in India and Georgia.

Iranian officials have denied any involvement in the incidents in Thailand, India and Georgia this week, rejecting Israeli accusations that the Islamic republic has unleashed a terror campaign.

Barak, who is currently in Tokyo, has said he spent several hours in Bangkok on Sunday, two days before the blasts. He then flew to Singapore before arriving in Japan on Wednesday.