31 Jan 2021: Iran link emerges in blast near Israel embassy in Delhi
Initially, the Friday evening blast was suspected to be a "mischievous attempt to create a sensation."
However, officials have now unearthed new evidence, including a letter addressed to Israeli Ambassador to India, Ron Malka. The probe still remains inconclusive.
Blast: Blast shattered windscreens of 3 cars; no injuries reported
A blast occurred at 5:11 pm Friday near the Israel embassy on Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Road, shattering the windscreens of three cars parked nearby.
No injuries were reported in the blast, that used ammonium nitrate-fuel oil as main charge, a non-electrical detonator, and bicycle ball bearings as shrapnel.
The explosive appeared to be planted in a flowerpot on the road divider.
Investigation: Enough evidence to suggest Iran involvement: Investigators
Counter-terrorism officials in Delhi told Hindustan Times that there is enough evidence to suggest the involvement of Iran in the blast.
A senior official, who wished to remain anonymous, told HT, "Deliberate efforts have been made to firewall the real perpetrators behind the terror incident with false flags and deniability built into the attack that obviously was carried out at the behest of Iran."
Investigation: Hunt on for people who planted bomb
" Once we have concrete evidence we will take up the matter in very serious terms with the country behind the attack," said a second official familiar with the probe, who wished to remain anonymous.
Investigators continue the hunt for the people who actually planted the bomb. They are reportedly focused on Indian students who have returned after studying at Qom.
Fact: Letter addressed to Israeli Ambassador recovered from site
Investigators also recovered a letter from the site addressed to "The Terrorist, Devil of Terrorist Nation Dr. Ron Malka" written by "Sarallah India Hezbollah." Malka refused to comment on HT's queries concerning the letter, saying he would leave the investigation to India.
Letter: Blast just a 'trailer'; letter vows 'big, better revenge'
The letter said the blast was just a "trailer," mentioning a "big and better revenge" in the future.
The letter swore revenge for the killing of Iran Quds Commander Qassem Soleimani, and Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis—killed in a US drone strike in January 2020—and Iranian nuclear physicist Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was killed in a car bomb attack in Iran in November 2020.
Other details: Telegram user claimed responsibility before attack
Ahead of the blast 3:27 pm, a Telegram entity, VikarUdDeen@Vikar45, had claimed responsibility for the blast on behalf of a group named "Jaish ul Hind," HT reported.
The message was shared on an ISIS-linked group Qayam Forum (Telegram ID @brownisbest_88), and was forwarded to several other ISIS-linked groups such as Jaag Muslman Jaag, Muslim Groups, and Azaadi ki Awaaz Channel, the report added.
Fact: India taking incident 'very seriously'
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has spoken to his Israeli counterpart, along with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Jaishankar tweeted saying that India was taking the incident "very seriously." South Block officials told HT the matter could take a serious diplomatic turn.