Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Australian terror twist following arrest in India for embassy attack

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Delhi Police have arrested an Indian journalist, Syed Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi, a Shi'ite with connections to Iran for his alleged role in facilitating the February 13 bombing of an Israeli Embassy car. See previous AIJAC blog post on background on the attack.

Interestingly, reporting on this arrest has featured discussion of a previous alleged plot by Iranian proxies to prepare terror attacks in Australia.

Reportedly Kazmi is a freelance journalist and runs Media Star News and Features, an Urdu-language news agency, and is said to be a part-time employee with an Iranian broadcaster. According to his family, he wrote columns for Iranian newspapers and filed reports for the official Iranian Islamic Republic News Agency.

Ely Karmon, of the Interdisciplinary Center's Institute for Counter-Terrorism, told the Jerusalem Post that the arrest of Kazmi fits with the established Iranian pattern of using locals while setting up attacks abroad. Karmon said:

"Often, ‘the serious operational people' are Iranians or Hezbollah operatives, and arrive briefly in the designated country to create the explosives before leaving."

Karmon gave a number of examples, including one that threatened Australia. In 1999, "an Indonesia terror suspect was arrested in the Philippines, and told authorities he had been recruited by Hezbollah, together with other Indonesians and Malaysians. The suspects trained in Lebanon before being dispatched to attack targets in Australia and Israel."

Kazmi appeared in court, and the public prosecutor told the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate that "he is one of the conspirators of this wider conspiracy. This is a case of international terrorism. It is not necessarily that only Indians are involved in this case and there is a possibility that some foreign nationals might be involved."

Meanwhile, police in Thailand also suspect that Thai nationals could have been involved in the terror plot to murder Israeli diplomats in Bangkok last month (see previous AIJAC blog post).

Thai authorities said that two Iranian suspects remain at large and arrest warrants have been issued for them. Three others, including terror suspect Saeid Moradi, who blew off both of his legs with his own grenade while trying to flee police, are in Thai custody.

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