x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Indian journalist implicated in Israeli diplomat bomb plot

Police arrest an Indian journalist in connection with last month's bombing of an Israeli diplomatic vehicle in New Delhi, the first apparent breakthrough in an attack that Israel accused Iran of orchestrating.

NEW DELHI // Police arrested an Indian journalist in connection with last month's bombing of an Israeli diplomatic vehicle in New Delhi, the first apparent breakthrough in an attack that Israel accused Iran of orchestrating.

Although Indian authorities have not implicated Iran in the bombing, any leads that point in that direction could complicate India's efforts to ward off growing western pressure and maintain its strong economic ties with Tehran.

Energy-starved India remains a large market for Iranian oil, and those purchases could blunt the effect of intensified sanctions being imposed by the United States and European Union to force Iran to roll back its nuclear ambitions.

Police arrested Syed Mohammed Kazmi on Tuesday after investigations showed he had been in touch with a suspect they believe may have stuck a magnetic bomb on an Israeli diplomat's car, the police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said.

Police said they searched Kazmi's house over the past two days to gather evidence that might link him to the February 13 attack, which wounded the diplomat's wife, her driver and two other people in a nearby car. Police did not say what evidence they found.

Kazmi, 50, was being questioned and was scheduled to appear in court yesterday before being handed over to officials of the investigating agencies for further questioning, Mr Bhagat said. The Press Trust of India reported that the suspect had claimed to work for an Iranian news organisation.

The New Delhi blast came the same day a bomb was discovered on an Israeli diplomat's car in Georgia. The next day, three Iranians accidentally blew up their house in Thailand, and Israeli authorities said the similarity between their explosives and the two earlier bombs linked Iran to all three incidents.

Indian officials have refused to assign blame while the investigation continues.