‘Delhi police have cracked embassy bombing case’

Police are likely to go public with the details in the next few days.

By KANCHAN GUPTA JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
March 14, 2012 03:10
2 minute read.
Vehicle is towed away in India: Illustrative)

Israeli vehicle is towed away from embassy_390. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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NEW DELHI – Investigators from the Delhi Police’s Special Cell are believed to have unraveled the conspiracy behind the February 13 bombing of an Israeli Embassy car.

Sources close to the investigation said the police are likely to go public with the details in the next few days.

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Tal Yehoshua Koren, wife of the Israeli defense attaché, was wounded by the attack.

National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror met with India’s Home Minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi on Monday.

Chidambaram is understood to have briefed Amidror on the findings of the Delhi Police. The discussions lasted for close to an hour. The meeting is seen as reflecting the importance attached by India to its relations with Israel and to the investigation into the bombing.

Indian ministers rarely schedule such meetings when Parliament is in session.

Monday was the first day of the Indian Parliament’s all-important budget session.

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Earlier, within hours of the terrorist attack and in a first of its kind occurrence, Israeli investigators were allowed full access to the crime scene, the physical evidence and other details.

Ever since the police on March 6 arrested Indian journalist Syed Mohammad Ahmad Kazmi, who worked for Iran’s official news agency IRNA and had close contacts with the Iranian Embassy in New Delhi, and charged him the next day under the tough Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for his alleged involvement in the car bombing, Delhi has been abuzz with expectation that the investigators will soon reveal all.

It is possible that full details, including the involvement of Iranians, were withheld for two reasons. First, an Indian trade delegation was scheduled to visit Iran last Saturday to work out ways and means of circumventing sanctions. Iran is a major supplier of oil for India. Second, the government may have wanted to share the findings with Israel before going public with them.

According to sources close to the investigation, Kazmi’s interrogation and scrutiny of his phone records, as well as other crucial clues, have led the investigators to conclude that he worked as a facilitator for the Iranians behind the attack. The police have stacked up physical, corroborative and circumstantial evidence against him.

Kazmi visited Iran “between seven and eight times last year,” a senior official said. It was during those visits that he met the key conspirators and was brought into the picture, the official said. The group hatched the plot in early-2011.

While Kazmi may not have been in the loop entirely, he was asked to help conduct a reconnaissance of the area around the Israeli Embassy, provide logistical support and arrange for a safe house for those who carried out the bombing. “Kazmi offered his services,” the source added.

The investigators are believed to have established that Kazmi was in telephone contact with Iranians associated with Iran’s intelligence agency. The key conspirators have been identified.

Sources said the police now have specific details of how the attack was plotted and executed. “They have also identified the bomber [the motorcyclist who planted the “sticky bomb” on the car in which Koren was traveling],” the sources said.

Although there is no official confirmation, three persons, in addition to Kazmi, are believed to have been detained for their roles in the attack. They are being questioned and have not been formally arrested or charged.

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