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Unknown terrorist group takes responsibility for Israel embassy attack in New Dehli

Jaish-ul-Hind is believed by some to be affiliated with Iran; claim under investigation by Indian police

Security officials examine the site of an explosion near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, India, Jan. 29, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui)

An unknown terrorist group calling itself Jaish-ul-Hind, which some officials suspect is affiliated with the Iranian regime, has reportedly claimed responsibility for Friday’s low-intensity explosion attack outside the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, according to Indian media.

Local Indian police are reportedly examining the accuracy of the claims. 

Investigators discovered a letter outside the Israeli embassy vowing to revenge the "martyrdom" of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps commander Qassem Soleimani and the head of the Iranian nuclear program Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Soleimani was killed in a U.S. drone strike outside Baghdad airport in January 2020. Fakhrizadeh was killed outside Tehran in November 2020 and the Iranian regime quickly blamed Israel for the assassination and vowed revenge. Since then, Israeli diplomatic missions worldwide have been on heightened alert. 

The one-and-a-half page letter reportedly warned Israel, “This is a trailer. We can end your life, anytime, anywhere.”

While the Iranian regime is a potential suspect behind the embassy attack, Israeli Channel 13 said that the blast appeared to be “very primitive” and not a work of a “sophisticated terror cell.”

Speaking to India Today TV, Israel’s Ambassador to India Ron Malka described the blast as “a terror attack against the embassy” and an “act of terrorism” against Israel. Malka stressed that the Israeli embassy had been on alert and the attack did not come as a surprise. 

“Israeli missions are always under threat. We were not surprised. We knew that something would happen somewhere in the world so we were on high alert in the past weeks. Investigations are still ongoing. There might be different kinds of collaboration,” said Malka.

Malka emphasized the close cooperation between Indian and Israeli security agencies. 

 “We can't share specifics as yet, but India and Israel are sharing real-time intelligence. Cooperation between India and Israel is on regarding intelligence and technical knowhow,” said the Israeli ambassador. 

Following the Israeli ambassador’s remarks, it was reported that Israeli intelligence agency Mossad is assisting the investigation into the New Delhi embassy attack. 

While no individual was wounded in the attack outside the embassy, Malka stressed that Israel was lucky. 

“This could have ended differently in other circumstances, so we were fortunate,” Malka said

Police in New Delhi have reportedly questioned some individuals including a few Iranian citizens staying illegally in India. Local authorities also questioned a taxi driver, who dropped two suspicious individuals near the explosion site just prior to the attack. 

Like Israel, India has faced the threat of Islamist terrorism for a long time. In 2008, 166 people were killed in a large-scale Islamic terrorist attack in the Indian city Mumbai. Among the terrorist victims were Rivka and Gavriel Holtzberg, U.S.-Israeli Chabad emissaries based in Mumbai. 

In recent years, ties between India and Israel have evolved into a close partnership with an intensified cooperation within defense and anti-terrorism. India has emerged as the top buyer of Israeli military technologies, representing some 45% of Israel’s total military exports.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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