Report: Indian Intel Links Iran-affiliated Group to Israel Embassy Explosion

Sources close to developments in probe say that the explosive device was planted near Israeli embassy by local Indian Shia cell on Iran's behalf, Hindustan Times reports

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Scene of the explosion in New Delhi, in January
Scene of the explosion in New Delhi, in JanuaryCredit: DANISH SIDDIQUI/רויטרס

An investigation by India's counterterrorism agencies has found that Iran was behind the low-intensity explosion near the Israeli embassy in India in January, The Hindustan Times reported on Monday.

Indian intel has drawn up a list of suspects, and reached the conclusion that a local Shia module planted the device at the behest of Iran's Quds Force, sources close to the developments told the newspaper.

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According to the sources, the perpetrators attempted to cover their trail and left false-flag markers pointing to the Islamic State, but counterterrorism agencies were clear that was part of the Iranian campaign against Israel.

The device that exploded near the Israeli embassy on January 29, and left no injures or casualties, was not as rudimentary as initially presumed.

The remote-controlled device was put together using PETN (pentaerythritol tetranitrate) or ammonium nitrate-fuel oil, though the final lab reports are pending. For the time being, the agencies were able to confirm the device contained ammonium powder and ball bearings.

“That the bomb was not of high intensity, with no human targets in mind was perhaps because the Iranians did not want to run afoul of a friendly nation like India. But the message was clear and the threat is real,” an anonymous counterterror expert who is tracking developments told The Hindustan Times.

This comes after Indian officials recovered a letter from the scene, addressed to Israel’s ambassador to India Ron Malka and calling him a devil from a terrorist nation. It also swore vengeance over the killing of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The sources said that the letter has been attributed to an Iranian, and is being examined by Indian agencies in collaboration with the Mossad.

The newspaper reached out to the Iranian embassy for comment but received no response.

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