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‘Count the days’: Death threat against Israeli envoy left at site of India blast

Letter addressed to ambassador says he is under constant observation, cites slain Iranian commander, nuclear scientist, is signed by ‘Indian Hezbollah’

Police close off a street after an explosion near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi on January 29, 2021. (Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP)
Police close off a street after an explosion near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi on January 29, 2021. (Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP)

A letter found close to the scene of a blast outside the Israeli embassy in New Delhi last week was a death threat to the ambassador that warned he was being constantly being watched and could be attacked at any time, Channel 13 news reported Sunday.

The handwritten note, in English, but riddled with grammatical and spelling errors, was addressed to Israel’s ambassador, Ron Malka, and referred to him as a “terrorist of the terrorist nation.”

It claimed to be from the “India Hizbollah,” a group that is not previously known, according to the report, which included a photo of the letter. Lebanese Hezbollah is an Iran-backed terror organization that is sworn to Israel’s destruction.

“This is just a trailer presented to you, that how we can observe you,” even when “eating your pie,” the letter began.

Warning that Malka is in their crosshairs, the letter said “you cannot stop anyway no matter how hard you would pick, we can end your life anytime anywhere.”

It said that while the attackers want to destroy Malka “we don’t want [to] flow the blood of innocent people around you.”

Declaring that all “participants and partners” of Israeli “terrorist ideology will be no more in existence” the letter warned: “now get ready for a big and better revenge for our heroes.”

It then listed “martyrs” Qassem Soleimani — Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander who was killed in a January 2020 United States drone strike, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a top Iraqi militia commander who was killed along with Soleimani, and Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s nuclear program, killed in a November 2020 attack Tehran has blamed on Israel.

“All that is left is for you to count the days,” the note ended.

Israeli Ambassador to India Ron Malka (Courtesy: Embassy of Israel New Delhi)

The investigation is focusing on India students who studied in Iran and are now suspected of operating in India under Iranian orders, the report said.

A police statement described the Friday explosion as caused by a “very low-intensity improvised device” that blew out the windows on three nearby cars and said a preliminary investigation “suggests a mischievous attempt to create a sensation.”

Israeli authorities were treating the explosion as a suspected terror attack aimed at the embassy, The Times of Israel has learned, and were stepping up security precautions at missions around the world.

Police were said to be examining CCTV footage which appeared to show two suspects who were wanted for questioning over possible involvement in the blast.

Envoy Malka told the India’s PTI news agency Saturday that staff had not been caught by surprise, as Israeli missions have been on high alert for weeks, preparing for the possibility of an attack. He said Indian authorities were leading the investigation, but “whatever assistance we can provide, whatever we can share, we will do that.”

Channel 12 reported Saturday that Israeli explosive experts and the Mossad intelligence agency would be involved in the investigation.

Israeli missions have already been on alert around the world in the wake of the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist in November of last year. Tehran has blamed Israel and promised revenge.

In 2012, the wife of Israel’s defense attaché to India was moderately injured after a motorcyclist attached a bomb to her car near Israel’s New Delhi embassy. Iran was suspected in the attack.

It was part of a series of attempted attacks against Israeli targets around the world attributed to Iran. The same day as the 2012 New Delhi blast, a bomb was discovered on an Israeli diplomat’s car in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. The next day, three Iranians accidentally blew up their house in Thailand.

There was speculation that those incidents were in response to Israel’s alleged assassinations of multiple Iranian nuclear scientists as Jerusalem fought to curtail Iran’s nuclear program.

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