Israel boosts security abroad following Mumbai attacks

Officials say laptops found in terrorists' belongings.

mochkin mumbai march 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP)
mochkin mumbai march 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
Israel has beefed up security surrounding embassies, consulates and other offices worldwide out of fear that they may be targeted in additional Global Jihad attacks like the one on the Chabad House in Mumbai, India last week. While the probe into the attacks has not yet been completed, a top Israeli security official told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that al-Qaida was the likely culprit and that the global terror network appeared to have cooperated with additional Indian and Pakistani terrorist infrastructures. "These attacks took a lot of courage," the official said. "They definitely have al-Qaida's fingerprint on them." On Sunday, two high-ranking security officials were dispatched to India to assist with the investigation into the Mumbai attacks. The officials will participate in the investigation and will also coordinate security at Israeli sites in India with local authorities. A top Israeli official told the Post that Indian security services had discovered laptop computers, documents, maps and additional equipment in the terrorists' belongings and that according to agreements with the Indians, the findings would be made available for Israeli review. "The Indians understand that it is in their interest to cooperate with Israel," the official said. "There is already good cooperation, and it will get better." The attacks in Mumbai caught Israel in the midst of an unprecedented heightened status of alert worldwide which went into effect following the assassination of Hizbullah arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh earlier this year in Damascus. Officials said that since the Mumbai attacks, security had been beefed up at Israeli institutions in India but that it had yet to have an affect on global security since the investigation was not yet completed. The official said it was unlikely that Israel would begin providing security for Chabad institutions abroad, but would be in touch with the New York headquarters to recommend how to improve security at some of the branches in counties vulnerable to future terror attacks. "We first need to complete the investigation, understand what happened and then implement the necessary changes," one official explained. Officials in the Prime Minister's Office Counter-Terrorism Bureau said it appeared that the Chabad House had been specifically targeted by the terrorists, who in addition to attacking luxury hotels also wanted to send a message to Israel. One possibility was that the attack on the Chabad House was connected to Israeli support of India and a recent visit that Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi, OC Ground Forces Command, paid to the disputed state of Kashmir in September in the framework of an official visit to India. The IDF is assisting India in training its counter-terror units. "There could have been a lot of motives for the attacks, but one of them is definitely Kashmir," the official said.