Five Arrestedin New Delhi for Car Bomb Attack

Israel's ambassador in New Delhi Alon Ushpiz asks India's External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna to authorize special security arrangements for Israeli diplomats in a bid to prevent similar attacks.

The New Delhi police yesterday arrested five suspects in connection with the car bomb that injured Tal Yehoshua-Koren, wife of the Israeli defense attache, on Monday, India Today reported. A police source told the local media that the motorcyclist who carried out the attack was probably an Indian.

Israel's ambassador in New Delhi Alon Ushpiz yesterday asked India's External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna to authorize special security arrangements for Israeli diplomats in a bid to prevent similar attacks in the future.

New Delhi bomb - AP - February 2012

An Israeli team of investigators and forensic experts have joined the Indian police and security services investigating the attack.

Yesterday the Indian and Israeli investigators examined the remains of the car in which Yehoshua-Koren had been traveling and another car damaged by the blast. They also examined a motorcycle found abandoned in the south of the city, which the terrorist is believed to have used in the attack.

Krishna agreed to beef up the security around the Israeli diplomats and promised the Israeli investigators full access to the inquiry findings.

The security cabinet convened in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem yesterday to discuss ways of preventing further terror attempts by Iran and Hezbollah against Israeli diplomatic targets abroad. The cabinet heard evaluations from defense and foreign affairs experts and reviewed indications regarding Iran's involvement in repeated attempts to target Israelis in the world.

Although it was apparently impossible to identify the biker who perpetrated the attack in New Delhi from security camera footage, New Delhi police officers leaked to the local media that the man is probably an Indian national.

Police believe the terrorist carried out surveillance of Israel's defense attache in India, who was the initial attack target. A few hours before the attack, the Israeli diplomat lunched with his wife, Tal Yehoshua-Koren in New Delhi's Khan Market.

After examining the camera footage in the market area, investigators identified a few of the five suspects who were arrested later in connection with the attack loitering near Yehoshua-Koren's car while it was parked near the market.

The police are also checking the records of international phone calls from New Delhi to Iran, Lebanon and Pakistan in the hours before and after the attack. Between 2 P.M. and 3:30 P.M. on the day of the attack 115 calls were made to these three states. Four calls were made from a public telephone booth near the Khan Market. Thirteen of the calls lasted 8-10 minutes and the police are trying to locate the callers.

India Today reported the Mossad gave Indian intelligence a list of eight Iranian and Lebanese nationals suspected of being involved in the attack.

Thailand is continuing its investigation into the Iranian terror cell that allegedly carried out Tuesday's botched terror attack in Bangkok, which Israeli officials believe was aimed at Israel's ambassador there. Two of the cell's members have been arrested, Thai police said.

Thai intelligence officials said yesterday the Iranian cell apparently used the same method in targeting the Israeli ambassador as the one used in New Delhi. Israeli ambassador in Bangkok Yitzhak Shoham and Thai police officials said the attack's characteristics and the explosive charges used were similar.

Security analyst Saikat Datta said India was concerned its relations with Iran may hurt its ties with Israel. India imports its oil from Iran, which has always supported India in its conflict with Pakistan over Kashmir. On the other hand, Israel is India's closest and strongest strategic ally, he said.

Unlike Israel, Indian ministers have not blamed Iran or anyone else for the attack in New Delhi earlier this week.