2012 attacks on Israeli diplomats

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2012 Israeli embassy attack
Part of Iran-Israel proxy conflict
Location New Delhi, India
Tbilisi, Georgia (attempted)
Date 13 February 2012 (2012-02-13)
Non-fatal injuries
4
Suspected perpetrators
Iranian Revolutionary Guards

The 2012 attacks on Israeli diplomats occurred on 13 February 2012 after a bomb explosion on an Israeli diplomatic car in New Delhi, India wounding one embassy staff member, a local employee and two passers-by. Another bomb planted in a car in Tbilisi, Georgia failed to explode and was defused by Georgian police.

Background[edit]

Over the past several months, there has been an escalating war of words between Israel and Iran.

On 12 February 2012, Iran had summoned the Azeri ambassador to complain against a report in The Times that Mossad had used Azerbaijan as a base for covert operations against Iran.[1][2]

Incidents[edit]

India[edit]

A motorcyclist attached a sticky bomb to the car of the wife of the Israeli defence attache to India while she was on her way to pick up her children from school.[3] The woman, Tal Yehoshua Koren, sustained moderate injuries that required surgery to remove shrapnel while her driver and two bystanders suffered minor injuries.[4][5] An Indian journalist Syed Mohammad Ahmed Kazmi has been charge-sheeted in the case and his judicial custody was extended until 9 August 2012 the day slated by the court to consider taking cognisance of the charge sheet.[6]

Georgia[edit]

A car parked 200 metres from the embassy was discovered to have a bomb after a local driver for the embassy heard a noise while he was driving. He pulled over to side of the road and discovered a bomb underneath his car. He then alerted the Georgian police, who defused the bomb.[7]

Investigation[edit]

Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram said that the use of RDX was ruled out (which had previously been used in other attacks in India) and that no one was accused until investigations were over. He added that those who perpetrated the attacks would be brought to "justice."[8] Delhi Police had detained five people after the incident, but they were released after questioning. Indian authorities are also looking at CCTV footage for images of the perpetrator.[9]

On 7 March 2012, Delhi Police arrested Indian journalist Mohammad Ahmad Kazmi who claimed to work for an Iranian news organisation.[10] The police claimed that he conducted recce of Israel embassy along with three other Iranian nationals one of whom executed the blast. They also claimed that he was in touch with the mastermind of the module, Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, and that Kazmi's wife received foreign remittances of INR1.8785 million (US$31,000) through her bank account while Kazmi received INR380000 (US$6,300) from the module.[11] On 3 April 2012, his bail petition was dismissed by a Court of Metropolitan Magistrate. The court cited prima facie evidence and large scale international ramifications to be among the reasons to dismiss his petition.[12] On 10 April 2012, Directorate General of Income Tax Investigation and Enforcement Directorate registered a money laundering case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act against Kazmi. However, his relatives refuted all allegations.[13] On 31 July 2012, Kazmi was chargesheeted. He was charged under various provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Indian Penal Code (IPC) including attempt to murder and Explosive Substances Act.[14]

Kazmi's bail was granted in October 2012.[15]

In July 2012, The Times of India reported that Delhi Police have concluded that terrorists belonging to a branch of Iran's military, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, were responsible for the attack. According to the report, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards may have planned other attacks on Israeli targets around the world as well.[16][17]

The circumstances of the Delhi bombing (a sticky bomb attached to a car) were similar to suspected Mossad assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists like Majid Shahriari and Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan.[18]

Report by counterterrorism officials[edit]

In September 2012, counterterrorism officials told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that Iran and Iranian proxies were responsible for attacks in 2012 against Israeli diplomats, via the Iranian Quds Force, Hezbollah, and others. The counterterrorism officials warned that these forces may attempt to attack the United States as well. The of the National Counterterrorism Center said that "Iran remains the foremost state-sponsor of terrorism in the world."[19]

Reactions[edit]

  •  Israel – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for both incidents. "Iran, which is behind these attacks, is the greatest exporter of terrorism in the world. The Israeli government and its security forces will continue to work together with local security services against these terrorist actions."[7]
The Foreign Ministry had also put its embassies on high alert for the anniversary of the killing of Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyah, as Hezbollah had vowed to avenge the attack by attacking Israelis overseas.[20]

Aftermath[edit]

The next day another failed attempt in Bangkok, Thailand led to the injuries of four people. Though the target was not known the perpetrators were said to be Iranian.[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Iran summons Azeri ambassador for suspected links with Israel's Mossad". Al Arabiya. 12 February 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Iran summons Azeri envoy over Mossad collusion'". The Jerusalem Post. 12 February 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Israel embassy car blast: Indian intelligence hints at Iran's hand
  4. ^ Dan Williams (13 February 2012). "Israel blames Iran after attacks on embassy staff". Reuters. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  5. ^ Yaakov Katz (13 February 2012). "Attacks target Israeli embassies in Georgia, India". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "Israeli diplomat attack case: Kazmi's JC extended". 4 August 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Herb Keinon & Gil Hoffman (13 February 2012). "Netanyahu: Iran is behind attacks on Israeli embassies". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  8. ^ "Handiwork of well-trained person, says Chidambaram". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 14 February 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 
  9. ^ "Israel embassy car blast: India not taking 'advantage' of US help?". NDTV. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  10. ^ "Syed Mohammed Kazmi, Indian Journalist, Arrested in New Delhi Bomb Attack". Huffington post. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Muhammad Kazmi carried out Israeli embassy recce, says Delhi Police". India Today. 17 March 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  12. ^ "Court Denies Bail to Kazmi". Outlook India. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  13. ^ "Syed Mohammad Kazmi booked by ED for money laundering". India Today. 10 April 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  14. ^ "Kazmi Charge Sheeted in Israeli Diplomat Attack Case". Outlook India. 31 July 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  15. ^ https://login.live.com/login.srf?wa=wsignin1.0&rpsnv=11&ct=1351194855&rver=5.5.4177.0&wp=MBI_SSL&wreply=https:%2F%2Flogin.secure.co1.msn.com%2Fwlsignin.aspx%3Fru%3Dhttp%253a%252f%252fnews.in.msn.com%252fnational%252fsc-grants-bail-to-journalist-in-israeli-embassy-vehicle-blast-1&lc=16393&id=74351
  16. ^ Chauhan, Neeraj (29 July 2012). "Cops name Iran military arm for attack on Israeli diplomat". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  17. ^ Davidovich, Joshua (29 July 2012). "Indian police say Revolutionary Guards behind Delhi attack". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  18. ^ Israel accuses Iran of attacks in Delhi and Tbilisi
  19. ^ Waterman, Shaun (20 September 2012). "Iranian militias 'pose threat to U.S.'". The Washington Times. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  20. ^ "Israeli missions in India, Georgia targeted – Israel News, Ynetnews". Ynetnews.com. 20 June 1995. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  21. ^ Sherwood, Harriet (13 February 2012). "Binyamin Netanyahu accuses Iran over bombs targeting Israeli diplomats". London: The Guardian. 
  22. ^ Iranian suspects in Bangkok bomb plot dined with prostitutes, authorities say, AP 17 February 2012