Israel Warns India of Terror Risk Against Jewish, Israeli Targets
Israel has alerted Indian intelligence services of a renewed terror risk against Jewish tourists and at Jewish and Israeli sites, the UK’s Daily Mail reported on Friday.
The alert was sent ahead of the Jewish Spring holidays – Israel’s Independence Day, Lag B’Omer and Shavuot – when Israeli citizens travel extensively to various parts of the world.
The newspaper said the alert suggested that Israeli tourists may be targeted at hotels, Chabad centers, synagogues, restaurants, community centers “and other places of Jewish congregation,” as well as airports “and even at seaports where Israeli ships arrive.”
In 2008, a Jewish center was targeted specifically in the the Mumbai terror attacks. Chabad’s Rabbi Gavriel and pregnant Rivka Holtzberg were killed by Pakistani terrorists in the assault.
In 2012, a terrorist attack was carried out against Israeli citizens in Bulgaria. Meanwhile, attempted attacks against Israelis were thwarted in Thailand and Georgia.
Israel’s concern has sparked fears that al-Qaeda and its affiliates are making inroads into India, the Daily Mail said.
Israel named al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Ansar al-Sharia as potential organizers of these attacks against its citizens.
The newspaper said: “The Israeli inputs cannot be brushed off lightly as interrogations of Indian Mujahideen (IM) terror operative Yasin Bhatkal’s by central intelligence agencies in India revealed that IM’s Pakistan-based founder member Riyaz Bhatkal has had several rounds of meetings with al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan. The purpose was to expand the IM’s area of operation and also plan and execute international terror attacks.”