Monday, June 18, 2012

Terror Strike in Lutyens’ Delhi – Revisited

In February 2012, a bomb attack which caused grievous injuries to the wife of the Israeli Defence Attaché was suspected to be the handiwork of Iran or its proxy the Hezbollah. This author in the post titled Terror Strike in Lutyens’ Delhi had indicated that Iran’s international behavior in the past had defied rationale and logic and hence it was quite possible that Iran may have been responsible for the attack. Media reports now confirm that an Iranian ‘security entity’ (probably the Quds Force (alternatively spelled Ghods or Qods) was behind the attack. One such report appearing in Rediff is reproduced below: 

Iran was involved in bomb plots targeting Israeli diplomats in India, Thailand and Georgia in February, according to a media report.

In India, local agencies believed that a bomb attack which badly injured the wife of the Israeli military attaché in New Delhi in February this year was the work of an Iranian 'security entity'.

Their conclusions have not previously been made public and Indian officials avoided blaming Tehran, an ally and a key oil supplier.

The governments of Georgia and Thailand, which both uncovered bomb plots on the day of the Delhi attack, have also not officially blamed Iran.

European intelligence officials said that they now found it difficult to judge Tehran's 'risk calculus'.

"Until recently it was possible to see why they were doing what they have been doing," The Guardian quoted an intelligence official as saying.

"Now it has become very unpredictable. It's very hard to see the logic behind [the February bombings], other than perhaps demonstrate an ability to cause problems in the event of war or a desire for revenge of some kind," the official added.

Police evidence, witness statements and court documents seen by the Guardian, plus interviews with local and international law enforcement and security officials, suggested that the attempted triple-bombing on February 13 and 14 was conducted by a well coordinated network of about a dozen Iranians and prepared over at least 10 months.

According to the paper, the evidence includes the identification of at least 10 Iranians allegedly involved in the plots, money transfers to key individuals from Iran, the use of Iranian phone connections and the flight following the attacks of conspirators to Iran.

According to the paper, with Israel refusing to rule out military action if diplomacy fails, intelligence officials fear the volley of attacks carried out by Iranian operatives show Tehran is capable of an asymmetric response.

Iran now needs to be told in unequivocal terms, that India would not tolerate Iranian nationals or its diplomats using Indian soil for carrying out terrorist attacks against foreign nationals or diplomats. Secondly, if India is able to identify the diplomats engaged in this attack, India without much fanfare must call upon Iran to withdraw such personnel or declare them persona non grata. Lastly, India must take the Delhi blasts’ case to its logical conclusion, that is to say, prosecute the Indian contact as well as try and apprehend the Iranians behind the attack.


Pete said...

Hi Kumar

I agree with your last para. There should be no appeasement of Iran - even if it has considerable oil power.


Pete said...

Hi Kumar

The approaches you suggest in your last para look appropriate

I also think they should apply equally to any country that conducts terrorist/revenge attacks in India.

As is implied Iran may be providing a warning of what may happen if it is attacked by Western forces.

Iran's choice of countries to conduct Quds Force ops has little apparent logic.