NEW DELHI: Iran’s secretive intelligence wing Quds Force is suspected to be the mastermind of world-wide plots to target Israeli diplomats by using a ‘stick/magnetic-bomb’, including the one that took place in India on February 13.
According to intelligence sources, the Israeli intelligence agency has briefed their India’s counterparts on the Quds Force’s activities, which is a part of the Iran’s most powerful para-military force, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRG).
With help of information gathered from failed plots in Thailand and Georgia, the Indian intelligence agencies have concluded that all of them were interlinked.
The motive of these plots were similar - to target Israeli diplomats or embassy personnel using a similar modus operandi of ‘stick/magnetic bomb’ attached on their vehicle by a bike-bomber. After detailed analysis, they also concluded that the possibility of Hezbollah’s involvement appears to be remote because these attacks lacked their trademark in picking high-value targets and use of powerful explosives.
This information helped Indian agencies to zero in on the Quds Force, which acts as the IRG’s external-affairs branch with extensive contacts in terrorist organisation and criminal networks all over the world, explained
a senior intelligence official.
The Delhi Police’s Special Cell, which is probing the case, based on these intelligence inputs declared that it is a case of an ‘international terrorism’, which was planned and masterminded from persons abroad, soon after making the first arrest in the case on Wednesday.
The police sources also informed that the probe reveals that the ‘foreign plotters’ have made a calculated move to rope in an Indian journalist Sayed Mohammed Ahmed Kazmi, who once worked for the Iran’s News Agency (IRNA) to carryout ‘surveillance’ activities and provide ‘logistics’ to carryout the attack on the Israel’s diplomat’s wife Tal Yehoshua.
Kazmi’s accredited journalist status gave him an easy access to corridors on powers without arousing any suspicion. The police say his specialising in covering Middle-East affairs and Iran-India’s relationship provided a perfect alibi to visit all the key places that are linked with the plots.
Investigation revealed that the plot was hatched in January last year and he carried out detailed reconnaissance of the target before it was finally executed, in what appeared to be a launch of world-wide attacks in capital cities of Bangkok and Georgia. During the planning period, he travelled abroad extensively for long durations to fine-tune the plot with his ‘foreign mastermind’. Other plotters, too, travelled to India and different countries to meet and discuss the nitty-gritty of plan.