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India officials name suspect in bombing of Israeli vehicle

March 7, 2012 |  7:50 am

In an apparent break in last month’s bombing of an Israeli diplomatic vehicle, Indian police produced a suspect in court, identified by local media as Syed Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi, a 50-year-old Indian journalist who worked for an Iranian news agency
REPORTING FROM NEW DELHI -- In an apparent break in last month's bombing of an Israeli diplomatic vehicle here, police produced a suspect in court Wednesday, identified by local media as a 50-year-old Indian journalist who worked for an Iranian news agency.

Police say Syed Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi admitted to taking part in the operation, adding that their investigation showed he was in touch with a motorcyclist who officials said attached an explosive device with a magnet to a Toyota registered to the Israeli Embassy.

The court ordered that Kazmi, whose face was covered in a green-and-blue cloth during the proceedings, remain in custody for 20 days while the investigation continued.

"The entire incident was not an accidental act as it was done in a well-planned manner," a Delhi police investigator told the court.

Police say the suspect's house was searched in recent days for evidence linking him to the Feb. 13 attack that wounded a diplomat's wife, Tal Yehoshua Koren, along with her driver and two riders in an adjacent vehicle. Authorities declined to say what, if anything, was found in the search.

Israel has blamed the attack on Iran, which has denied any involvement. Indian government officials said police as yet have found no conclusive link to the Tehran regime. India relies on Iran for about 12% of its oil.

"The investigations are pursuing various leads," Syed Akbaruddin, the Foreign Ministry's main spokesman, said Wednesday. “And our understanding is that no conclusions can be drawn at this stage."

The Indian government said there were no security cameras focused on the area where the bombing occurred, even though it took place a few hundred yards from the prime minister’s residence.

A similar attack on an Israeli diplomat's car was foiled in the nation of Georgia the same day; the following day, three Iranians accidentally blew up a rented house in Thailand that apparently was being used as a bomb factory. 

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-- Mark Magnier

Photo: A suspect's face is covered as he is brought into court in New Delhi on Wednesday in connection with last month's bomb attack on a vehicle carrying an Israeli's diplomat wife. Police identified the suspect as Syed Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi. Credit: EPA / STR

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