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Why Delhi car blast case remains OPEN-ENDED

Last updated on: February 15, 2012 13:41 IST

Why Delhi car blast case remains OPEN-ENDED

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Vicky Nanjappa

Was it a terror attack or a conspiracy? The investigation into Monday's Israel embassy car bomb blast in national capital's most VIP region has several angles to it, and the police have decided that they would probe every possible link and give this case a closure 'very soon', reports Vicky Nanjappa.

On the police radar is the Iranian link to the attack and also the sudden rise in the counter-terror operations launched by the Israelis in India.

The question that is also being pondered over is that if Lebanese terror outfit Hezbollah carried out the attack, as promptly alleged by the Israeli establishment, why was the impact so minimal?

There have been three attacks in as many days -- in Georgia, Delhi and Bangkok. The Israelis have been quick to claim that it is Iran which has launched a global war against them -- a charge that has been rubbished by Iran as 'Israeli propaganda.'

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Image: Police and forensic officials examine a damaged Israeli embassy car after an explosion in New Delhi
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters

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A lot depends upon Indian investigations

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A lot depends on the Indian investigation as they will have to provide definitive clues in this case. The Indian agencies are looking at the case in two ways. First they say that Hezbollah has wanted to seek revenge on the Israelis. But, on the other hand, what has also got them confused is that Iran does not have a history of okaying terror attacks on Indian soil.

While the vigil has been stepped up in all areas in India where there is a considerable Iranian population, scores of them are being questioned.

On the other hand investigators are also questioning some operatives of the Indian Mujahideen, a group which has been very vocal about the Palestine cause.

However, the third angle is also very interesting, as a team is revisiting an incident in Kerala in which an Israeli couple, Shneor Zalman and Yaffa Shenoi, were picked up and deported as they enjoyed international immunity.

India is now curious to find out the extent to which these Israeli agents had gone into counter-terror operations on their own. The Indian police had detained one of their local handlers. He would be questioned once again and the police would try and dig out more clues from him regarding their operations.


Image: Police cover a damaged Israeli embassy car before it was towed away from a police station to another police station in New Delhi
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters

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'We are not leaving out a single angle'

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With multiple angles and doubts the investigation into the Delhi car bomb blast case continues to be open-ended at the moment.

"We are not leaving out a single angle," sources in the Delhi police department said. "We are currently in the lookout for a red coloured-bike which the attacker had used. This information has come through based on the CCTV footage and also eye witness accounts," an official said.

Latest reports reveal that police have located the bike in Delhi, and are currently verifying it.

"Moreover there is also a strong suspicion that an Iranian student was one of the attackers. The question is whether this person was a member of the Hezbollah or hired to stage manage an operation," the official added.

The preparation of the sticky bomb is also something that has left the agencies foxed. The sticky bomb, as has been reported earlier by rediff.com, was a palm sized bomb used more in the Middle East to target vehicles.


Image: A covered damaged Israeli embassy car is towed away from a police station to another police station in New Delhi
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters

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'A thoroughly planned operation'

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The Delhi police now say that it was a sticky bomb and had been attached to the vehicle with the help of a magnet. The forensic department is still studying the bomb. However, the case of the bomb is an open and shut case as the police have pretty much gathered most of the details regarding it.

The sticky bomb has not been used in India so far. The fact that is has been used mostly in the Middle East, especially in Iraq, is not a definitive reason to come to any conclusion.

"Although the theory of its use in a particular region would give us a start in the investigations, we are also looking at the various other angles regarding its use," an official pointed out.

However, the police for now say that the attacker was trained very well and this operation was being planned at least for several months.

There was precision in the attack and it had gone off as per the plan. The area was very well surveyed and the attackers even knew that there were no proper surveillance cameras in the area.

"In addition to this they were also fully aware that there was no signal after the first one, and the vehicle would be moving unattended," the source in the police department noted.

"This is sufficient to prove that the operation was a thoroughly planned one," the source added.


Image: A forensic official takes pictures of a damaged Israeli embassy car after an explosion in New Delhi
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters

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