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Iran's Quds Force responsible for Delhi car bomb attack?

Last updated on: March 10, 2012 15:00 IST

Iran's Quds Force responsible for Delhi car bomb attack?


Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru

Nearly a month after the bomb attack on an Israeli embassy vehicle, the Delhi police claim they have made some progress. Vicky Nanjappa reports

According to the Delhi police, Mohammad Ahmed Kazmi, the journalist who was arrested in connection with the blast, was a turning point in the investigation. A source has told that he has allegedly divulged information regarding the attack.

The investigators are looking into the possibility of the Quds Force, a shadowy unit of the Iranian Army and an Islamic revolutionary force, and the Hezbollah of Lebanon into the attack.

Officials, however, point out that the links to the Quds Force look more of a possibility at the moment when compared to an operation by the Hezbollah. Kazmi allegedly provided logistic support to men from Iran, but he was unsure as to which outfit the men belonged to.

The indications at the moment point towards the Quds Force. According to Indian Intelligence, the Hezbolla is an outfit which reports to the Iran intelligence. Looking at the diplomatic ties between Iran and India, it is unlikely that Iran would approve of an attack on Indian soil even if it meant that the targets were Israelis.

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Image: The Quds Force insignia


Quds' current strength is 15,000

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The Quds Force on the other hand is looking to make its point heard loud and has shown signs of expanding into other countries.

This force was created during the war of Iran with Iraq. Their area of operation remained largely in Iraq and they had helped the Kurds in their battle against former Iraq President Saddam Hussein. However, after Saddam's death, they found themselves wanting for a cause and decided to take on Israel and use the Palestine cause.

Traces of their involvement were seen in the Soviet-Afghan war, the Yugoslav war and the fight against the Serbs.

Today the Quds Force has a strength of around 15,000. They are not directly under the control of the Iran militia at least for now, although the regime in Iran had supported them in the 1980's during the Iran-Iraq war.

The latest on Quds Force's agenda is the battle for Palestine. It appears that they have decided to wage a war against Israel on a large scale and hence could have carried out a series of attacks in India, Georgia and also Thailand.

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Image: Police and forensic officials at the bomb site in New Delhi
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters

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Quds' target is not India itself

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The attacks were to test the waters and also make their presence felt. However, it appears to be a deliberate attempt that they have maintained a low key despite these attacks and there was no official proclamation from the group claiming responsibility for the attack.

Either there is no full fledged involvement or it is a deliberate ploy to keep the heat low, Indian Intelligence Bureau officials point out.

Sources say that the Quds Force is well-equipped to carry out operations worldwide. They have primarily been known for their skills on the battlefield and recently have shown signs of being able to stage operations through remote control overseas.

Speaking of their operations in India, it becomes clear that some west Asian groups have been carrying out surveys here. Their target has not been India itself, but Israelis and American citizens living in India.

Israel, in particular has been paranoid about this development, and have sent in many of their trained citizens for counter-terror operations undercover. Similarly, Irani terror groups have been in India for collecting logistic details, funds and looking for new recruits.

The Quds Force may have picked people of Iranian origin living in India to provide them details and information of their targets.

Kazmi is alleged to be one such person.

Image: Police and forensic experts investigate the site where a man was injured when a bomb he was carrying exploded, in central Bangkok on February 14
Photographs: Reuters

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