Iran’s Cyberwarfare Chief Shot Dead — Another Assassination by Israel? America? Saudis?

Our early reaction — though not claiming to know (yet) whether the Mossad entered Iran again with an assassination squad, aimed at Iran’s commander of cyberwarfare — is: “Why bother to kill him? Iranian cyber activities haven’t been a major concern to Israel.”

IRGC Qods Force, garbed in white in Tehran

Britain’s Daily Telegraph featured information, mainly from a website linked with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, about the violent death of Mojtaba Ahmadi. His body was found in woods northwest of Tehran, shot twice in the heart.

The Telegraph added: “The commander of the local police said that two people on a motorbike had been involved in the assassination.”

Mossad assassins are known to have ridden motorcycles when they killed at least four nuclear scientists in Iran. That’s true (and detailed in Chapter 1, “Stopping Iran,” of our book Spies Against Armageddon.  

The last such killing occurred 21 months ago, and security analysts have been thinking that Israel’s clandestine operatives are lying low for a while so that their travel patterns would not be detected by Iranian counter-intelligence.

It seems improbable that the United States would send or hire assassins in Iran, at precisely the time that President Barack Obama has started to speak with Iran’s President Hasan Rouhani. But it is not impossible. The American administration might even wish to send a two-part message: that talks are possible now, but hard-line covert activities (and tough economic sanctions) will continue.

Saudi Arabia would have powerful motives, also, to act against Iran’s cyberwarfare capabilities. The Iranians are suspected to have been behind some highly damaging attacks on the computer-run systems of oil companies in Saudi Arabia.

October 3, 2013

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