Delhi police identify Iranians linked to car bombing

Armed with warrants, Delhi Police approaches Interpol to issue “Red Corner” notices – international arrest warrants – against the suspects.

March 16, 2012 02:05
2 minute read.
An Indian police officer guarding [illustrative]

An Indian police officer standing guard 390 (R). (photo credit: Stringer India / Reuters)


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NEW DELHI – The Delhi Police’s Special Cell has identified three Iranians as those responsible for the February 13 bombing of an Israeli Embassy car in which Tal Yehoshua Koren, wife of the Israeli defense attaché, was wounded.

Non-bailable warrants have been secured against Housan Afshar, Syed Ali Mehdi Sadr and Mohammed Reza Abolghasemi, all Iranian nationals.

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Armed with those warrants, Delhi Police has approached Interpol to issue “Red Corner” notices – international arrest warrants – against the suspects.

Afshar is believed to have placed the “sticky bomb” on the car when it slowed down at a traffic light a short distance from the Israeli Embassy and the Indian prime minister’s residence on February 13. Sadr and Abolghasemi are believed to be the co-conspirators who fine-tuned the attack.

Sources said Sadr and Abolghasemi visited Delhi several times to prepare the blueprint for the attack. They likely traveled to Delhi along with Syed Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi, the Indian journalist arrested last Thursday for his role as a facilitator.

The conspiracy was hatched in early 2011.

Kazmi, the police claim to have established, visited Iran “seven to eight times” last year. He is believed to have helped Sadr and Abolghasemi study the movement of embassy vehicles and diplomats.

They used the information to work out the final details of the bombing which was carried out by Afshar.

The Iranians are believed to have traveled to India on tourist visas. They arrived at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi separately.

They stayed at nondescript low-budget hotels in an area crawling with backpackers from around the world, which would have helped them avoid attracting attention or raising suspicion.

The motorcycle used by Afshar, sources said, belonged to an employee of the hotel in which he was staying. The employee was unaware of either Afshar’s antecedents or his intentions and mistook him for a tourist.

Sadr and Abolghasemi took flights out of Indira Gandhi International Airport for “destinations in Middle East.” Afshar, according to the sources, took a flight to Kuala Lumpur from where he boarded a connecting flight to Tehran within hours of the bombing.

A source said Afshar arrived in Delhi in January. He spent the next few weeks acquainting himself with the area around the Israeli Embassy, tracking diplomats and their movements, and working out the getaway. He was in constant contact with Kazmi and a visitor to his home.

A scooter found at Kazmi’s home was used to conduct reconnaissance and to ferry the Iranians around Delhi.

Investigators, while scanning Kazmi’s finances and financial transactions, are believed to have found a sizable remittance in his wife’s bank account. They are believed to have tracked the source of the money to Iran.

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