Cops suspect Hezbollah link in Israel diplomat car blast

  • Jatin Anand and Karn Pratap Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Feb 15, 2012 10:40 IST
  • Israeli embassy car

    An Israeli embassy car up in flames after a blast in New Delhi. PTI Photo

  • wreckage of a car belonging to the Israel embassy

    Police officers stands next to the wreckage of a car belonging to the Israel embassy that was destroyed in a blast in New Delhi. PTI ...

  • Israeli embassy blast

    Investigators examine a vehicle that exploded near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi. HT/Arvind Yadav

  • Delhi police commissioner

    Delhi police commissioner BK Gupta addressing a press conference after a blast outside Israel embassy in New Delhi. HT/Arvind Yadav

  • Blast outside Israeli embassy

    Investigators examine a vehicle that exploded near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi. AFP/Sajjad Hussain

  • explosion

    Security and forensic officials examine a car belonging to the Israel embassy, left, after an explosion tore through that in New Delhi. AP/Mustafa Quraishi

  • Policemen

    Policemen watch as security and forensic officials examine a car belonging to the Israel embassy after an explosion tore through that in New Delhi. AP/Mustafa ...

  • Investigators

    Investigators take a closer look at a vehicle belonging to the Israel embassy after an explosion tore through that in New Delhi. AFP/Sajjad Hussain

  • Israel Embassy

    Security and forensic officials examine a car belonging to the Israel embassy after an explosion tore through that in New Delhi AP/Mustafa Quraishi

  • Israel Embassy car

    In this television frame grab, the burning wreckage of an Israeli embassy car is seen following an explosion in New Delhi on February 13, 2012. ...

A resident member of a dormant, foreign-funded terrorist outfit "familiar with India's urban terrain" targeted the official Israeli vehicle in central Delhi on Monday afternoon, police sources claimed on Tuesday.

Sources said the 'sticky bomb' used in the attack was either smuggled into the country "from a foreign country" or indigenously manufactured by "highly-skilled foreign hands" who "hired" the perpetrator(s).

"The Hezbollah, a Shiaiite terrorist outfit with roots in Lebanon, has no base in the country. There is a very strong probability that the attack was carried out at their behest and through their funds but executed by a well-trained militant of Pakistan-based outfit for considerable payment," said a senior police officer.

However, investigators are in the dark about the identity of the motorcyclist who had stuck the bomb on the embassy vehicle.

Five persons, who own red motorcycles, were picked up for questioning today.

Gopal Krishnan, a resident of east Delhi's IP Extension area, told investigators he had seen a biker wearing a helmet and a red jacket and riding a red motorcycle sticking a palm size, square shaped whiteish device on the car.

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Delhi Police commissioner BK Gupta said, "One biker who was captured tailing the Innova car in a CCTV camera in front of Israeli embassy approached us on his own. He was let off after questioning."

Even as the commissioner ruled out the role of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) in the attack, sources indicated that the attack was executed by operatives of either Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) or Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).

Police said the executor of the attack was a "well-trained militant" with "expertise and experience" in handling explosives and sophisticated explosive devices.

"Both these organizations are well aware of the country's urban landscape because of their involvement in similar incidents perpetrated in the past," said the officer. 

As Hindustan Times had reported on Monday, the 'sticky bomb' was modelled on the concept of a 'destructive incendiary device', had an arming switch and a self-destruct mechanism timed between 5 and 10 seconds.

Sources said that though the explosion sent the targeted Innova up in flames, the fuel tank of the vehicle was fortunately intact.

"It seems that the executor wanted to combine the effects of the sticky bomb with that of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) by turning the car into a car bomb and cause maximum damage to commuters and adjacent buildings," said the officer.

Gupta said investigators were seeking CCTV footage from Israeli embassy and Canadian embassy.

 

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