The police have ramped up security at the Chabad House in Mumbai’s Colaba neighborhood after the Maharashtra Police anti-terrorism squad arrested terrorist suspects in Pune who had pictures of the center in their possession, the weekly English-language news magazine India Today reported Saturday.
The Chabad House was a target during the 26/11 terrorist attack and has maintained vigilant security measures.Mohammed Imran Mohd Yunus Khan and Mohd Yunus Mohd Yakub Saki were arrested in Pune on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack in Rajasthan.
During the investigation, officials found two Google images of the Chabad House with the suspects. In response, the Mumbai Police heightened security and conducted a mock drill in the vicinity.
Chabad House serves as a significant Jewish cultural center, offering diverse activities and services for the local Jewish community and tourists.
Indian law enforcement “caught two Pakistani citizens, and in our opinion, it was not an Iranian mission, but rather a case of general Islamic terrorism,” a senior source within the Chabad movement told The Jerusalem Post.
“The authorities arrested them and found incriminating evidence on their phones, indicating they had pictures of the Chabad House in Mumbai.”
“Chabad made extensive preparations for the summer, organizing seminars and reinforcing security measures in collaboration with all relevant parties, including the Security Fund of the Jewish Agency,” the source said. “The incident occurred a week ago and was reported [on Saturday]. The situation is under control.”
Chabad response to the 2008 attack
In response to the aftermath of the 2008 terrorist attack that killed Gabi and Rebecca Holzberg, the Chabad House in Mumbai underwent comprehensive security enhancements, akin to that of an embassy.
Shlomi Peles, the CEO of Chabad World Assistance (CWA), told the Post there is a growing global trend of attempting to damage Jewish symbols, raising security as a paramount concern worldwide.
As a measure to address this concern, Chabad has been implementing various security measures, including physical protection, camera installations, and seminars for the heads of Chabad Houses, he said.
“The level of security at Chabad Houses worldwide is high, ensuring a safe environment for tourists and locals to visit and participate in various services and events,” Peles said.
CWA, an Israel-based organization, extends security assistance to Chabad Houses globally.