Iran has recruited a fugitive Hell’s Angels boss to help organise terror attacks on synagogues, police in Germany believe.
Detectives have identified biker boss Ramin Yektaparast as a key suspect as they investigate attacks on two synagogues that took place last month, according to a report by public broadcaster ARD.
Yektaparast, who is wanted by German police for carrying out a brutal gangland murder, fled to Tehran in 2021 where he has been tasked by the Revolutionary Guard with organising attacks in Germany, the report says.
“We are talking about state-organised terrorism,” an investigator told the broadcaster.
The first of the two synagogue attacks took place in mid-November when four bullet holes were discovered in the doorway of the former rabbis’ residence at the Old Synagogue in Essen, a historic building from the early 20th century.
Soon after, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a school adjacent to a synagogue in nearby Bochum.
A 35-year-old Iranian-German national has been arrested in connection with the Bochum attack.
Another man went to the police after the suspect allegedly tried to pressure him into carrying out a further attack at a synagogue in Dortmund.
Gang’s murder victim ‘cut into pieces’
Yektaparast, a Hell’s Angel boss, is being pursued with an international arrest warrant for the murder of a fellow gang member back in 2014.
Prosecutors issued charges against him earlier this year after a fellow biker told them that Yektaparast had shot a member of their gang whom he believed was a police mole.
The gang then sawed their victim’s body into small pieces, encased it in cement and threw the remains into the Rhine river, the witness confessed.
Yektaparast has been living in Tehran since at least September 2021, but has insisted on social media that he is not on the run but is merely “on holiday.”
An Instagram account belonging to a Ramin Yektaparast shows a strongly built man in his mid-thirties riding motorbikes and driving Lamborghini sports cars.
In a sign that authorities are concerned that the group could be planning further attacks, police in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia have increased security measures around Jewish buildings.
Officers guarding the buildings are now equipped with semi-automatic guns and wear bulletproof vests.
The group also reportedly tried to spy on the head of Germany’s Central Jewish Council, Josef Schuster.
Anti-Semitism on the rise
German intelligence agencies have recently warned that anti-Semitism has become more pronounced among extremist groups.
One of the worst acts of anti-Semitic violence in Germany since the war took place in the town of Halle in 2019, where a Right-wing extremist live-streamed his armed assault on a synagogue.
He was unable to enter the locked building but killed two people outside.
Meanwhile, in Iran the country’s ultra-conservative president, Ebrahim Raisi, has travelled to the Kurdistan province to try to calm the unrest that has gripped the region since the early autumn.
Speaking in the town of Sanandaj on Thursday, Ebrahim Raisi placed the blame for the protests on foreign “enemies” but said that the country’s Kurdish minority would “foil their plans”.
“People are facing economic and social problems, but they know how to face the enemy with their solidarity,” he said.
The Kurdish region has been the centre of protests after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman from the region, died in police custody in September.
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