New Delhi: Qassem Soleimani was plotting “imminent and sinister” attack on American diplomats, US President Donald Trump said issuing a statement, which attempted to justify the airstrike which he permitted to kill Soleimani. “Soleimani made the death of innocent people his sick passion, contributing to terrorist plots as far away as New Delhi and London. Soleimani has been perpetrating acts of terror to destabilize the Middle East for the last 20 years. What the United States did yesterday should have been done long ago. A lot of lives would have been saved,” he said.

What is the New Delhi link?

While Trump did not specify the plots in India, he may have been referring to a 2012 bombing of the car of the wife of the Israeli defence attache to India. Tal Yehoshua Koren was injured and underwent surgery to remove shrapnel and her driver and two bystanders were also hurt in the attack on February 13, 2012, using a bomb that was attached to the vehicle with a magnet.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Iran was behind that attack and another attempted attack using a similar technique in Georgia.

The New Delhi case has not been resolved so far and a conclusive link to Iran has not been made by India.

News reports at that time said that the attack was carried out by Iran in retaliation for the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan in Teheran using a bomb with a magnet attached to his car, allegedly by Israelis.

An Indian journalist, Syed Mohammad Ahmad Kazmi, was arrested on March 6 that year and accused of being a part of a conspiracy to carry out the attack and held under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. He was released on bail by the Supreme Court in October on the condition that he does not go abroad.

According to news reports at that time, Delhi police alleged that he had carried out reconnaissance for the Iranians who carried out the attack.

The five persons who carried out the attacks were Iranian members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard who had visited Delhi, police were quoted as saying. They were not arrested although police identified them.

(With IANS Inputs)