Iran-backed Shi’ite cell behind bombing near Israeli Embassy in India

More than a month after an explosion rattled the streets of Delhi, Indian authorities believe they now know who carried out the attack.

India’s central counterterrorism agencies have concluded that a local Shi’ite terrorist cell backed by Iran’s IRGC Quds Force was behind the attack that targeted the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi late January, Hindustan Times reported on Monday.

Evidence collected at the scene of the blast pointed to Iran’s involvement early on in the investigation.

A handwritten note in English found at the blast site was addressed to Israel’s Ambassador to India Ron Malka, warning Israel of revenge for the assassinations of Iran’s Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani in January 2020 and Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in November 2020.

CCTV footage of the blast site revealed that a cab had dropped two people near the embassy shortly before the bomb went off.

According to India’s counterterrorism experts who led the investigation, the attack was part of Iran’s asymmetric warfare campaign waged against Israel, Hindustan Times reported.

“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,” one expert involved in the investigation told Hindustan Times.

This explosion is not the first against Israeli targets in India: On February 13, 2012, two bombs were planted on Israeli diplomatic cars in New Delhi and in Tbilisi, Georgia.

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