Archive for February 18th, 2012

Delhi Blast: I for Iran or I for Israel? I for India must do what it should.

18 February 2012
Delhi, Tbilisi, then, Bangkok, and of course to link them together – Tel Aviv. Four National Capitals, vastly separated by Geography, and yet linked together in just two days through shrill noises emanating from just one place. What is really going on here?
In Delhi, Rediff.Com reports: <<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….On the police radar is the Iranian linkto 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?>>.
Manana Manjgaladze, spokesperson to Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili, told a press conference: <<“The investigation of this case is of the utmost priority for Georgia’s law enforcement agencies,” and vowed to track down those responsible for a thwarted bomb at an Israeli diplomat>>.
A day later, 3 bombs went off in Bangkok. Defence minister Sukumpol Suwanatat tried to << allay anxiety over Tuesday’s triple explosions in Bangkok, saying the blasts should not be construed as terror attacks “In my personal view, the men were trying to assemble bombs which led to the explosions>>. National Security Council secretary general Wichean Poteposhree said << that the explosive devices found at the rented house off Sukhumvit 71 were meant for individual targets. Based on preliminary checks by police, the Iranian bomber suspects, one who is believed to have fled to Malaysia, and two in police custody, wanted to target individuals although the potential targets or organisations remain unclear, Wichean said>>.
At none of these places where bomb blasts or thwarted attempt took place, do we have the local authorities proclaiming guilt of any organization or country. But in a place far away from the *crime scene*, Bibi (Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) had gone ballistic while pronouncing his judgment holding Iran and Hezbollah *guilty as charged in all the three cases*. Bibi is as convinced as Bush was of Iraq’s WMDs. Such shrill rhetoric had its backers even in India. Dr. Ajai Sahani, founder and director of Institute for Conflict Management, an indigenous *counter terrorism expert*, said: <<Israeli intelligence is usually very good, and they have a strong reputationon this, which they are unlikely to jeopardise by completely fabricated claims. The circumstantial evidence around this case, particularly including the nature of the explosive device and the near simultaneous developments in Tbilisi and Bangkok, is also fairly compelling>>. The language of the discourse is couched in generalities and the clever use of negations gives a semblance of unbiased objectivity to otherwise a very partisan statement in simple English: ! We must believe what Israelis say!

But Israel’s jingoistic style of *Hang First, Investigate Later* may suit her interests and of her ally’s imperial plans for absolute domination of the world resources; but has little use for others. The tension against Iran has been systematically ratcheted over last several months. USA imposed sanctions on Iran. EU followed the suit as it was expected to do. EU turned screws on India to use her *good offices* to pressure Iran to give up her *nuclear program*: <<India imports 12 percent of its oil from the Islamic Republic and could be badly hit by the latest sanctions. The United States and its allies in Europe are putting pressure on New Delhi to look for alternative sources of oil. New Delhi has, thus far, defied the mounting pressure from Washington and Brussels and is seeking alternative ways of paying for Iran’s oil without violating the sanctions>>. India has been working out with Iran the alternate modalities of payment settlement for the crude it imports as the usual SWIFT channel of settling international banking transactions is severely curtailed for now, New York ($) & London (£) are closed for fund routing, and moves are on to block it completely: <<“Swift stands ready to act and discontinue its services to sanctioned Iranian financial institutions as soon as it has clarity on EU legislation currently being drafted,” the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication said today in a statement>>. On 6th February, just 6 days prior to the *attack* and while Mossad chief was in Delhi, it was announced that exactly such an arrangement has been worked out: << Ruling out gold as a mode of payment, Iran on Tuesday said Indian companies will pay for 45 per cent of their oil imports from Iran in the Indian currency as part of a mechanism agreed between the two countries.”Both the sides are satisfied,” Syed Mehdi Nabizadeh, Iran’s ambassador to India, told reporters >>. The *terrorism attack* in Delhi would put India under severe pressure from the USofA-Israeli lobby to isolate Iran completely in a situation where options available to Iran are already diminishing rapidly. Nancy Powell, Obama’s choice for Ambassador to India, proclaimed during senate hearing: <<Ensuring that India complies with international sanctions on Iran for failing to rein in its nuclear program most certainly will be one of the top priorities>>. Such an attack at this juncture harms Iran immensely while it greatly helps Israeli cause to attack Iran or have it attacked: <<Israel has asked India to help sponsor a resolution against Iran in the United Nations Security Council condemning Monday’s attack on one of its diplomats in Delhi, as well as the incidents in Tblisi and Bangkok>>. Question is whether India’s ruling elite have the balls to withstand the pressure for any length of time or have true national interest at heart to back up those balls?
There are other possibilities too. Deccan Herald quotes Intelligence Analysts: << Intelligence analysts said that the attack, which could be part of a covert operation, appeared to be a replication of strikes that a dissident Iranian group called the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) undertook to kill Iranian nuclear scientists, including Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, the deputy director of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran last month >>. A Daily Mail report said, <<U.S. officials confirmed today that Israel has been funding and training Iranian dissidents to assassinate nuclear scientists involved in Iran’s nuclear program. The claim has already been levelled by the Iranian government who believed that Mossad, Israel’s secret service, have been arming dissidents with the terrorist organisation the People’s Mujahedin of Iran(MEK) >>. The Thai authorities now have said: <<“These three Iranian men are an assassination team and their targets were Israeli diplomats including the ambassador,” a senior Thai intelligence official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Their plan was to attach bombs to diplomats’ cars.”>>. Iranian men have been caught and even if one were to assume their guilt as accused, how does Iranian government automatically stand indicted? By that logic the blame for every *alleged act of terrorism* by Al Qaeda should be laid at the door of Saudi Arabia because its alleged founder was a Saudi national. Since the bombs used in the three national capitals are *similar* according to Israeli intelligence, they say it is the same *terror network* behind all three attacks. Even if it is true, that terror network could very well be Mossad sponsored MEK, who have used similar bombs to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists inside Iran. Mossad’s stated objective on its website are: <<The Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations, otherwise known as the Mossad, has been appointed by the State of Israel to collect information, analyze intelligence, and perform special covert operations beyond its borders>>. How can one be sure that these *terror incidences* are not part of Israeli covert operations to achieve its proclaimed objective: <<Prevent the development and procurement of non-conventional weapons by hostile countries>>?
The well calibrated and orchestrated campaign by USofA and Israel for producing consent to corner Iran has been documented by Tony Cartalucci in *String of Global Bombings Blamed on Iran*- a sample-> The Jewish Week 7 February 2012 << “We predict that the threat on our sites around the world will increase … on both our guarded sites and ‘soft’ sites,” read the memo, with soft sites interpreted to mean potential targets such as synagogues and other Jewish community buildings. The letter was circulated by the head of security for Israel’s Consul General for the Mid-Atlantic States, ABC News said >>. But what caught the eye were the responses, often at odds with each other (An informant of Delhi Police Special Cell –Naqi- was caught by Maharashtra ATS as terrorist in 13/7 Mumbai serial blasts case) of the Indian specialists tasked with terror investigations. Before one comes to those responses, some curious absurdities in the reported statements of Delhi Police in connection with blast involving Israeli national, Tal Yehoshua-Koren, need to be recorded. The attack took place just 100 meters away from the residence of India’s prime minister– an area that has the highest security cover and most assiduous surveillance if our security agencies are to be believed.
·        Police Commissioner B K Gupta reportedly said: << The bomb cannot be stuck on a moving vehicle. It has to be stationary. The bomb exploded 5-7 seconds after it was stuck. The traffic signal was red at the time of the explosion. After sticking the bomb, the motorcyclist removed one of the bollards (plastic dividers) on the road and fled>>. This confirms acceptance of the eye witness account that a motorcyclist was involved in the attack and of further knowledge of how he escaped.
·        An unnamed senior police official is claimed to have said: << “We can see the Innova car but not any motorcycle near it”>>. << Footage from some 30 closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) installed in the high-security zone in New Delhi show the Israeli embassy Toyota Innova before it was destroyed in a targeted attack on Monday. But there is no recording of a man on a red motorcycle who an eyewitness claims stuck a magnetic bomb on the vehicleand sped away >>.
·        Police Commissioner B K Gupta said: <<initial inquiries and eyewitness accounts suggested that the attack was carried out by a lone motorcyclist who drove up to the Innova at a traffic signal on Aurangzeb Road, attached a magnet bomb to the rear of the vehicle and sped away. “The man on the motorcycle had a helmet on and was wearing a brown jacket. The motorcycle registration plate (later an abandoned red motorcycle, DL 7S T 8352, was found from south Delhi’s Lado Sarai area) was blank. There was only one person who planted the explosive on the car,” and, added that the blast could have been triggered by a remote control device>>.
Usually Indian security establishment is adept at snap judgments in case of *terror attacks* against Indian targets. The hand of ISI, Indian Mujahidin, SIMI or LeT are readily discerned and within days *perpetrators from suitable community* are rounded up. Mostly such ham-handed efforts are to deflect anger of people at supreme ineptitude of security agencies in intelligence gathering and crime prevention & investigation. But this time mercifully the establishment had to be more circumspect, even though Israelis were egging on concertedly to do otherwise. While government avoided any statement even suggestive of Iranian government’s involvement, the security agencies declared that phone calls to Lebanon, Iran and Pakistan (another report mentions 115 phone calls made to Iran, Israel and Lebanon) were under scanner: <<Delhi Police officers today said they were looking at four international phone calls made to Iran, Lebanon and Pakistan from the Khan Market area where Tal Yehoshua-Koren had lunch with her husband before she was attacked>>. Why Lebanon? Probably because Israel suggested that Hezbollah could have masterminded the attack acting as a proxy for Iran.  However, what was most unusual in Indian scenario was the scramble for a *piece of action to investigate an international terrorist plot*, which has power to potentially alter world’s geo-politics.
·        The National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Delhi Police decided to check the antecedents of Lebanese students, who have arrived in the country in past few months: <<Deatils of Lebanese students, sources said, were being carefully looked at after Israel conveyed its “firm suspicion” that Hezbollah cadres could be behind the attack. It is learnt that Israeli officials have also sought Indian assistance in tracking down a list of suspects who could have travelled here from a third country, not necessarily from the Middle-East……Incidentally, the attack came within a week of India visit of Tamir Pardo, head of Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad. Pardo was in New Delhi in the first week of this month and was hosted by India’s external intelligence agency RAW. Sources said he held talks with the RAW chief and the National Security Advisor on security matters>>. Why was Pardo here? Had he come to ensure that all arrangements were in place of the plan to isolate Iran- to disrupt economically by scuttling the alternate payment settlement mechanism worked out by India & Iran and to rupture politically by forcing India to cooperate at UN with anti-Iran resolutions?
·        In distant Pune, the police had plans to travel to Delhi: <<Apparently, a team of Anti-Terrorist Cell (ATC) of Pune police will leave for Delhi to probe if there is any Pune link to the suspects being questioned in connection with the incident on February 13, which was also the second anniversary of the German Bakery blast….According to the Pune police, 302 foreigners, including 80 Iranians, were made to leave India by the special branch of Pune police in 2011 for their alleged involvement in “undesirable activities”. Several Iranians were deported in 2010 too for similar reasons. One of them was Mostafa Safavi, a research student pursing his PhD on ‘Managing Crime in e-world’ from the University of Pune>>. Israeli sources had already *speculated* on another anniversary link: <<The Jerusalem Post quoted Israeli security officials saying that it was possible that the attacks were connected to the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Hezbollah military chief Imad Mughniyeh, who was killed in Damascus on Feb 12, 2008>>.
·        In Mumbai, the Chief of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), Rakesh Maria, confirmed: <<that they have sought information from Delhi police about the attack on the Israel diplomat’s car>>.
Four non-Congress chief ministers have objected to the center’s plan to start National Counter Terrorism Centre (probably imitating US0fA’s NCTC) without consultation with states though it infringes upon the states’ rights: << “It is difficult for the state government to accept such arbitrary exercise of power by the central government/central agency, which have a bearing on the rights and privilege of the states as enshrined in the Constitution of India,” Mamata Banerjee has said. According to TV reports, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modihas been in touch with the four CMs>>. NCTC or no-NCTC, but the security establishment across the country is definitely warming up to the glow of investigating the *international terror network*. Whether they manage to nail the perpetrators or not, they should keep all options on the investigative-board. If Hezbollah or links to Iran are to be investigated, then so must they investigate MEK, Mossad, & Israel.