Syed Ahmad Kazmi, 50, the freelance journalist arrested for allegedly facilitating an attack on an Israeli diplomat’s wife in February, was in ‘indirect touch’ with the operational head of an international conspiracy to target Israeli diplomats, Delhi Police claimed on Thursday. They also claimed he was paid to help such activities in the capital.
Nabbed by the Special Team from his Jor Bagh residence on March 6, Kazmi was allegedly paid $5,500 by one Seyed Ali Sadr Mehdian, an associate, ‘to provide assistance in India’ for the international terror plot during two trips the former made to Tehran in 2011, Delhi Police Commissioner BK Gupta said.
“Mehdian directed Kazmi to meet Houshang Afsar Irani of Iranian origin, when the latter came to Delhi. Kazmi and Irani had receed the Israeli Embassy together and also discussed the matter of targeting Israeli diplomats through explosive devices,” the commissioner said.
Irani, who is in his early 40s and has an open arrest warrant issued against in his name along with three of his other associates, is the man who stuck the magnetic explosive device on the Innova vehicle carrying Tel-Yehoshua Koren, 42, the wife of an Israeli defence attaché, on the afternoon of February 13, police said.
Technical surveillance, police said, revealed that Irani was in touch with Sedaghatzadeh Masoud, the operational commander and one of the three Iranian men who were poised to target Israeli diplomats in Bangkok on February 14.
Masoud had fled the Thai capital after an accidental explosion at the module’s hideout only be arrested from the Malaysian airport hours later.
“It must be stated that technical investigation has also clearly established telephonic contact between Kazmi and Irani,” said the Commissioner, choosing not to comment on the suspected direct link between Masoud and Kazmi.
On March 9, HT had reported on how Delhi Police zeroed-in on Kazmi after their counterparts in Bangkok helped them get hold of his number from the callers’ list of one of the three Iranians arrested there.
Kazmi and his wife, police claimed, have been receiving foreign remittances regularly and, “till date his wife has received Rs18,78,500 while he received Rs. 3.80 lakh as foreign remittances regarding (the source of which) there is no satisfactory explanation,” Gupta said.
Police have already written to ED to probe the source of foreign remittances.