Colombia expelled two Hezbollah operatives after a former Israeli intelligence agent was targeted for assassination, Colombian daily El Tiempo has reported.

Defense Minister Diego Molano was quoted as saying that two months ago Colombia arrested and then expelled “two Hezbollah-sponsored criminals who had intentions to commit a criminal act in Colombia.”

The former Israeli agent was secretly taken out of the country when Israeli intelligence realized he was targeted by Hezbollah in a possible assassination attempt. Hezbollah presumably operates freely in neighboring Venezuela, which has close ties to Iran.

Molano was also quoted as saying there is a "risk with Hezbollah in Venezuela and what its relations with drug trafficking or terrorist groups on the Venezuelan side could generate for national security.”

Some reports in Colombian media say the plot was meant to avenge the killing of Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s top military and intelligence operative in the Middle East to was killed by a US drone attack in Baghdad in January 2020.

Colombian President Ivan Duque who visited Israel last week told local media that Colombia has a close relationship with Israel and is serious about preventing terrorism on its soil.

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