Report: India Believes Iranian Quds Force Behind Bomb at Israeli Embassy in Delhi
India’s counterterrorism agencies have concluded that a bomb which exploded outside the Israeli embassy in Delhi last month was the work of Iran’s terrorist Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)’s Quds Force, according to a report from the Hindustan Times, a charge which Tehran has denied.
The Jan. 29 bombing did not cause any casualties, and the embassy was not damaged. Reuters reported at the time that an Israeli official said both India and “all elements in Israel” saw the attack as “a terrorist incident.”
Since then, India and Israel have cooperated on the investigation into the bombing.
The Indian newspaper reported that India’s counterterrorism agencies believe a domestic Shia terror cell planted the bomb, and was working under the direction of the Quds Force.
It said the agencies believe that cyber markers left by the terrorists in order to point the finger at Islamic State were in fact false, and deliberately intended to direct suspicion away from the IRGC.
The Quds Force directs and carries out Iran’s terrorist operations worldwide, and the IRGC is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States.
One expert told the outlet, “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.”
The agencies have also reportedly found that, while the bomb was low-intensity, it was by no means crude, as was originally thought.
Particularly important for the investigators was a note left with the bomb that contained a frenzied rant against Israel’s Ambassador to India Ron Malka, calling him a terrorist and a devil.
Investigators believe that due to the style of the letter and its spelling, it could only have been written by an Iranian, and might have been passed to the domestic terror cell by an Iranian agent using diplomatic cover.
The agencies believe that the bombing was carefully planned, and may have involved considerable reconnaissance of the embassy.
Indian daily The Hindu reported that the Iranian embassy in India scrambled to deny responsibility for the bombing, saying it “strongly repudiates” the charges.
“While respecting the honorable government and authorities of India in their endeavor to thoroughly investigate and probe into the incident in order to identify the orchestrators of such actions and to bring them to justice,” the statement read, “this embassy strongly repudiates any unsubstantiated allegations or irresponsible comments in this regard.”
The statement also claimed Iran was being framed for the attack, saying, “This act must have been conducted by third parties who are angry and dissatisfied with the progress in the relations between the governments of Iran and India.”
The embassy also stated that it condemns “any act which ensues intimidation and fear, disruption of order and security, and jeopardizing the lives and property of the innocent people.”
The Hindustan Times also reported that the incident has seriously damaged India’s usually friendly relationship with Iran, and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government will confront Iran over the issue once the domestic cell has been arrested.