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Israel to send anti-terror experts to India

Harinder Mishra in Jerusalem | November 30, 2008 18:28 IST

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Israel is sending a team of anti-terror experts to India to help in the investigation of the terror attacks in Mumbai.

The experts will examine whether the attack was part of a new global terror tactic and if there is a need to adapt coping mechanisms in Israel to the new threat, Ynetnews reported.

The delegation will leave for India in a special Israeli Air Force jet andwill be accompanied by a team of forensic experts and people from the military rabbinate to handle the repatriation of the eight Israelis killed in the attacks.

The forensic team headed by Chief Superintendent Itzik Koroniois composed of seven experts on the identification of human remains, two DNA experts and a doctor.

Anti-terror experts in Israel have been taken by surprise over the fact that the terrorists did not plan to negotiate the release of the hostages.

Israeli officials are also trying to figure out which country is behind the attack, what Web sites the attackers used to plan the operation, where they got their instructions from and where was their training held, the news portal said.

The Western look of some of the terrorists has baffled experts and Westerners converting to Islam and joining the global jihad poses a relatively new security challenge, it said.

Israeli defence officials said that until information is collected on the content of the bags, the computers and the electronic devices found on the terrorists' bodies, it could not be determined for certain whether Chabad house in Mumbai was a pre-planned target, it said.

Warnings of possible attacks on Chabad houses around the world have been received in the past, but this time there was no such indication, the portal said.

Israeli representatives and business representatives of major companies in India have been told to be on high alert.

Vowing to do everything necessary to protect Jewish institutions from attacks, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today underlined that the "terrible act" in Mumbai takes the Jews back to the worst moments in their history. "Israel is doing, and will continue to do anywhere, whatever it takes to protect Jewish institutions," Olmert told his cabinet.

"This terrible sight of Chabad House leaders wrapped in prayer shawls is shocking. These are pictures that bring us back to the moments in history which we had hoped would never return," he said in reference to the Nazi Holocaust in which six million Jews were killed.

He stressed that the "hatred of Jews" continue to be a source fueling these acts of murder against the community. "The hatred of Jews and the hatred of Israel and the hatred of Jewish symbols still continue to be a source fueling these acts of murder," the outgoing Israeli premier asserted.

The Israel government is of the view that the attack on Chabad House, also known as Nariman House, was not accidental and it had been singled out by the terrorists to carry out the massacre.

"During the past days the entire world, and we in Israel, have witnessed murderous terror attacks in India. There is no doubt that among the targets chosen by the terrorists were Jewish and Israeli targets, which are viewed as Western," Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni earlier said. "The world is under attack, and it makes no difference whether it takes place in India or elsewhere. There are extremist Islamic elements who do not accept our existence and do not accept the values of the Western world," she said, calling upon the international community to cooperate in the fight against terrorism.

Olmert expressed his condolences to the families of all the victims and hoped that India will know how to recover from the trauma.

"We will act, also in cooperation with the Indian government, to protect as much as possible the many Israelis and Jews in these areas who want, and are entitled to, full security," Olmert said.



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