Peru Rules Out Iranian Suspect for Planned Attack at APEC Forum

 – Peru’s authorities ruled out the initial hypothesis that an Iranian and a Peruvian arrested on Friday were planning an attack on an Israeli person at the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

The arrests prevented an attack on a foreign businessman, according to a statement by APEC’s Peru office, which is currently attached to the foreign ministry.

A spokesperson for Peru’s Interior Ministry also ruled out a link between the captures and the forum.

Peru’s chief of police, Oscar Arriola, told a press conference on Friday the arrests were made after an investigation in coordination with international intelligence agencies, which provided “sensitive” information about an Iranian citizen who arrived in Peru at the beginning of March.

“We had to act quickly because today (the Iranian) was set to return to Iran after forming a terrorist cell to wipe out an Israeli national”, Arriola said.

Other police sources had said preliminary findings indicated a possible attack targeting an Israeli at the forum.

Both the Iranian, whom Arriola identified as 56-year-old Majid Azizi, and the Peruvian were arrested on Thursday, he said. Azizi also holds Peruvian nationality by marriage, Arriola said.

Arriola said authorities had identified the Israeli who would have been targeted in the attack, though they were choosing not to release the person’s name due to security reasons.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Kylie Madry; Editing by Sandra Maler and Daniel Wallis)