Iranians have stopped an ISIS plot targeting Ashura mourners. This week, authorities in Iran announced that they have successfully dismantled a plot by ISIS fighters, who were planning to kill as many people as possible as they took part in some Ashura mourning ceremonies.
Ashura, which is known as Day of Remembrance, takes place on the tenth day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar. Ashura was commemorated on October 11, 2016. According to experts, Sunni and Shiite Muslims view Ashura and observe differently.
For Sunni Muslims, the public holiday marks three very important events. Firstly, it is the day when Moses crossed the Red Sea and was saved from the Egyptians by Allah and the day Noah left the Ark. It also marked the day Prophet Muhammad saw Jews fasting on their Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, and told his followers to do the same.
As for Shiites, Ashura commemorates the day in 680 AD that Imam Hussein, a grandson of Muhammad, was murdered in Karbala causing Islam to split into Sunni and Shiite. On October 11, thousands of male Shiite Muslims took part in self-flagellating to feel the pain felt by Hussein.
Iranian authorities did not reveal too many details on the plot other than the fact that they arrested a large group of men, who were planning the horrific massacre. The number, names, and the nationalities of the would-be terrorists were not given. According to the authorities, the radicals were in possession of explosive devices when they were apprehended.
It is believed that ISIS was hoping to attack mourners attending events in the southern province of Fars. Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said that they found over 100 kilograms of explosive material. Alavi said the men arrested were “Takfiri terrorists.”
A Takfiri is a Sunni Muslim, who sees another Muslim as impure. Alavi said:
“Intelligence Ministry agents, with the cooperation of other security forces, succeeded to defuse one of the anti-security plots of the ‘takfiri’ terrorist groups and prevent an inhuman crime in the ceremonies.”
According to experts:
“Iranian forces are propping up the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who claims to be fighting ISIS in the country, and Iranian commanders are advising and funding Shiite Iraqi militias in the neighboring country in their fight against ISIS and support of Baghdad’s forces.”
In July, the Iranian government aired a documentary, which revealed that ISIS militants were paid over half a million dollars to attack Tehran and other cities during Ramadan.
The shocking documentary featured interviews with two ISIS members, who confessed that they were targeting more than 50 areas around the Iranian capital. It featured Iranian authorities arresting the militants.
The video also showed the fighters buying the materials used to make explosives that could be used in suicide and car bombs.