Commentary Magazine


Arrest Made in India Attack on Israeli

Indian officials have arrested an Indian journalist freelancing for Iran’s state Islamic Republic News Agency in the assassination attempt on an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi. According to the New York Times report:

The Press Trust of India news agency reported that Mr. [Mohammad] Kazmi, 50, worked for an Iranian news agency in New Delhi. Reuters, citing Mr. Kazmi’s lawyer and family members, said he worked for the Indian state television channel, Doordarshan, and freelanced for Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency. A police spokesman, Rajan Bhagat, would not comment directly on specific reports but said obliquely that details reported broadly in the Indian press on Wednesday were correct. “This is a very sensitive matter and nothing more can be divulged at this stage,” Officer Bhagat said. Mr. Kazmi has been charged with criminal conspiracy. The Press Trust reported that an investigation showed that Mr. Kazmi had been in touch with a suspect believed to have actually carried out the attack, in which a motorcyclist pulled up in traffic and attached an explosive device to the targeted vehicle. The diplomat’s wife, who was injured along with several others, was apparently en route to the American Embassy School in New Delhi to collect her children.

The Indians have bent over backward to deny an Iranian link to terrorism. We should not condemn them too hard. After all, their realism is little different from that of the Clinton administration, which sought to bury the linkage between Iran and the Khobar Towers attack back in 1996. In 1997, Clinton went so far as to order a recall to the electronic dissemination of the FBI’s finding and the destruction of any reports which had been printed out. Needless to say, not all were destroyed. Then as now, the truth emerges. It’s time for India to step up and learn the same lesson other democracies—Argentina, Austria, Germany, Great Britain and the United States—have learned. A conciliatory approach toward Iran does not immunize one from Iranian terrorism; it invites it. Furthermore, turning a blind eye toward terrorism conducted against another democracy only erodes sympathy in a country which faces a terrorist threat almost as grave.