Nigerian authorities announced yesterday that they had made three arrests of Hezbollah operatives and uncovered a large stash of weapons, foiling a plot to attack Israeli and Western targets in Nigeria.

Nigerian military spokesman Captain Ikedichi Iweha said that three Lebanese men were arrested earlier this month in Kano, the largest city in northern Nigeria. Iweha said, “All those arrested have confessed to have undergone Hezbollah terrorist training.” A raid on the home of one of the suspects revealed a large cache of arms, including eleven anti-tank weapons, four anti-tank landmines, twenty one rocket-propelled grenades, more than 11,000 bullets and an amount of dynamite. Iweha concluded that “The arms and ammunition were targeted at facilities of Israel and Western interest in Nigeria,” although he did not elaborate further. Earlier this month, a Nigerian court sentenced an alleged member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to five years in prison over an illegal shipment of mortars and rockets seized in the port of Lagos in 2010

According to Haaretz, Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau said yesterday that the Nigeria cell is “part of the Shi’ite terror campaign against Israeli targets throughout the world.” Earlier this year, a Bulgarian investigation found Hezbollah, a Shi’ite organisation, responsible for a bus bomb in the Bulgarian resort of Burgas which killed five Israeli tourists last July. Meanwhile in March a Cypriot court convicted a Hezbollah operative of helping plan an attack on Israeli tourists on the island.

Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition’s umbrella organisation yesterday cited the major role taken by Hezbollah and Iran in fighting alongside President Assad’s regime for their refusal to participate in US-Russian sponsored peace talks planned for next month in Geneva. Acting head George Sabra said that the Syrian National Coalition “will not take part in any international conference…so long as the militias of Iran and Hezbollah continue their invasion of Syria.”