, SINGAPORE Feb 17 – The Israeli embassy in Singapore confirmed on Friday that Defence Minister Ehud Barak had visited the city-state, but dismissed reports of an assassination plot targeting him.
“Minister Barak was in Singapore to attend the Airshow and open the Israeli Pavilion,” the Israeli embassy’s deputy chief of mission Michal Sarig-Kaduri told AFP in an email.
The Singapore Airshow is one of Asia’s biggest aviation trade fairs in which Israel has a major exhibit of its commercial and defence aerospace industries. The event ends this weekend.
But Sarig-Kaduri dismissed a report in Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida that Barak had been targeted for assassination by three members of a Hezbollah-Iranian terror cell during his visit from February 12-15.
The report was widely picked up by Israeli media.
“The ministerial visit went according to plan and no unusual incident occurred. There are absolutely no grounds for this report,” she stated.
The Singapore police and an Israeli defence official have also rebutted the report, which stated that the three culprits had been arrested by local authorities with the help of Israeli spy agency Mossad before they could carry out their attack.
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.