One week into the investigation of the car bombing of an Israeli embassy car in Delhi has yet to yield a breakthrough, sources told India Today.
Police are continuing in their search for an attacker on a red motorcycle who attached a magnetic bomb to the vehicle and sped off before it detonated. However, conflicting reports suggest a black motocycle may have been used in the attack.
Last week, the wife of Israel's defense attache in Delhi was seriously injured in the attack. Her Indian driver, and two other Indian nationals who worked at the Israeli embassy were also lightly wounded. According to reports, she and her driver narrowly exited the vehicle before it exploded into flames.
Police and Israel officials have reconstructed the incident several times in search of clues, but sources say the probe is going nowhere. This despite Delhi police commissioner BK Gupta having previously said the investigation was "gathering pace."
Gupta's comment was made last Wednesday after police arrested five persons of interest in raids and recovered a red motorcycle they said at the time was used in the attack.
However, at this point police have seized several red motorcycles and interrogated their owners only to release them after failing to find a connection to the attack.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has accused Iran and its Lebanese terror proxy Hizbullah of being behind last week’s terror plots targeting Israeli diplomats in Asia – as well as others in previous months – saying Tehran had shown its “true face.”
Iran and Hizbullah both denied the charge. However, Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah’s denial included a veiled threat that his terror organization was planning to target senior Israeli officials.
Sources close to the investigation had also told the Times of India that investigators believed Iran had carried out the attack using local terrorists as a proxy. Indian officials initially said there would "be consequences" if Tehran were found culpable for the attack.
But Indian officials have since taken pains not to point the finger at Iran.
Observers note India has over USD 10 billion in trade deals with Iran on the line, and continues to consume 12% of Tehran's exportable oil despite restricted banking channels stemming from Western sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Last week's attacks in Georgia and Thailand led Indian authorities to reach out
Sources earlier reported that C-4 explosives were used in the botched Bangkok attack, while Delhi investigators say a different explosive made by a "foreign expert" was used in India.
According to the sources, none of the three Iranians arrested in Bangkok and Kuala Lampur had visited India on the passports provided by authorities there.
A reveiw of telephone calls made to Iran, Pakistan, and other Middle Eastern countries around the time of the attack has also yielded no leads, the sources say.
However, security analysts say Iran would be unlikely to use the same operations cell, bomb maker, or operational plan for the three attacks. The absence of links between the attacks, they say, is not necessarily the absence of a single sponsor.