Iranian Cyber-Attack Plot against U.S. Exposed in Mexico

Bob Beauprez
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Posted: Dec 13, 2011 12:01 AM

Our three part series “Iran at our Doorstep” published in the Aug-Sept-Oct issues of A Line of Sight documented the three decade progression of Iranian influence and the regime's terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, in Latin America. The series focused on the Iranians continued quest for nuclear weapons, the alliance with Venezuela to establish a missile base within easy striking distance of the U.S., the vulnerability and relative ease of an EMP attack on the U.S., and the criminal alliance between radical Islam and the drug cartels in an increasingly violent, anti-American war.  Our series could have also included the threat of a cyber-attack, as well.

A bombshell documentary aired last Thursday by Univision, the largest Spanish language television network in the U.S., exposed efforts for an attack “worse that the World Trade Center” by using a “digital bomb.”  The report “uncovered covert recordings of the alleged Iranian plan to cripple the computer systems of the White House, the FBI, the CIA and several nuclear power plants.”

Extended Univision trailer here in Spanish

Implicated in the cyber plot is Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri, a former Iranian Ambassador to Mexico, who is caught on video accepting a plan from undercover Mexican university students. The Univision documentary aired in Spanish was summarized in a report by Israel Ortega and James Phillips of the Heritage Foundation. As the following excerpt explains, the Mexican students received enthusiastic support for the plot from Venezuelan and Cuban officials as well.

“The documentary showed a former Iran senior official accepting a plan to launch from Mexico a cyber war on the United States, one that would cripple U.S. computer systems, including the White House, the FBI, the CIA and several nuclear plants. The official, former Iranian Ambassador to Mexico Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri, was shown accepting the offer from undercover Mexican university students.”

“The documentary also showed the undercover Mexican students presenting plans for the cyber attack to Venezuelan officials in Mexico. The Venezuelan official was very receptive to the plot, saying that she was close to Venezuela’s hard-leftist President Hugo Chavez and that she would love to share the information with him as soon as possible. The same happened with Cuban officials in Mexico, who were equally interested in a plot against the United States.”

“The students in the documentary appeared to have conducted a sting operation similar to the reports carried out by the American journalist James O'Keefe in the U.S.”Link to entire Heritage report here.

The Univision documentary says “Latin America has become the new frontline in the Secret War” against America and the West. The report also notes, as did the A Line of Sight series, the increasingly strong alliance between Hugo Chavez and the Iranian regime, the Iranian military training camps working out of mosques in Venezuela, and the intricately organized money laundering and drug cartel operations used to funds and support radical Islam’s terrorism agenda aimed at the U.S.

The seriousness and severity of a cyber-attack such as Univision exposed “cannot be ignored” according to Ortega and Phillips.   Although the documentary didn't make the connection, Iran’s allies against America in addition to Venezuela include China and Russia; two nations with considerable technological and military capabilities.  Obama’s much vaunted soft-diplomacy and lead-from-behind strategy has obviously failed.  As a result, our enemies are more emboldened and the world is a more dangerous place than it was three years ago.

We hold out little hope that the current Administration will alter course.  Unfortunately, other than the occasional glancing reference, the issue of increasing terrorist elements in our Hemisphere and on our border has received only minimal attention in the GOP Presidential primary. But, it should.  An often quoted proverb of radical Islam is, “You may have the watches but we have the time.”  If America continues to ignore the very real growing threat, or try to wish it away, time will one day run out.