India jails man planning Israeli, US consulate attacks
Sri Lankan citizen given 5-year sentence after confession; New Delhi accuses Pakistan of masterminding plot
A court in India sentenced a Sri Lankan citizen to five years in prison last week after he pled guilty to planning a terrorist attack on the Israeli consulate in the southwestern city of Bangalore.
Mohammad Sakir Hussein, who was arrested several months ago, was also convicted in planning to attack the US consulate in the south Indian city of Chennai and distributing counterfeit money.
Hussein’s indictment concluded last week after he confessed to planning the attack. The trial of two other defendants, Shiva Beelan and Muhammad Salim, was still ongoing, according to a report published Friday by Ynet.
The National Investigation Agency, an Indian counter-terrorist agency, charged that Hussein was in cahoots with the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) and was handled by sources working out of Islamabad’s Sri Lankan embassy.
The Indian government previously accused the Pakistani ISI of masterminding terrorist plots in the subcontinent, most notably the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. The assault, which targeted commercial and tourist centers, including a Chabad-run Jewish community center, was launched by 10 Pakistani members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, one of South Asia’s most notorious jihadist groups. Over 150 people were killed and approximately 300 more were injured in the four-day rampage comprised of bombings and mass shootings.
The Indian government issued a warning in September claiming that al-Qaeda affiliated groups were seeking to target Israeli tourists during the Jewish High Holiday season and reportedly took extra security measures to protect Jewish and Israeli sites.
The wife of an Israeli diplomat, Tali Yehoshua Koren, was moderately wounded in February 2012 after a car bomb exploded outside the Israeli embassy in New Delhi.
Indian authorities have since enacted additional safety measures at the embassy and have maintained a heavy security presence around Israel’s diplomatic missions.