Iranian on fake Israeli passport held in Nepal for possible terror plot

Man arrested at Israeli Embassy in Kathmandu on suspicion of ‘scouting facility with harmful intent,’ now being investigated by local cops for terror ties

The Thamel area of Kathmandu (photo credit: CC BY-SA artist in doing nothing/Flickr)
The Thamel area of Kathmandu (photo credit: CC BY-SA artist in doing nothing/Flickr)

An Iranian national carrying a forged Israeli passport was arrested by Israeli Embassy personnel in Kathmandu on April 13, amid fears that he was part of a plan to carry out a series of attacks against Israeli institutions and tourists in Nepal.

The man was identified as Mohsin Khosravian by The Himalayan Times, which cited a non-English language report in the Annapurna Post.

Khosravian was apparently arrested after behaving suspiciously at the embassy, possibly “scouting the facility with a harmful intention.” He was reportedly handed over by the Israeli authorities to local police, and was said Monday to be in local police custody.

Nepal Police’s Central Bureau of Investigation and Special Bureau investigated Khosravian for possible terrorist links after “frequent and suspicious visits” to the Israeli Embassy, the paper said.

Israel’s Channel 2 reported Monday night that the embassy and Israeli tourists in Nepal were all to be targeted as part of a series of terrorist attacks. The channel did not cite a source for its information.

According to Nepalese press reports, Khosravian has lived in Bangkok since 2004. He “hid his Iranian passport (P 95434382) and used a fake Israeli passport (14517227) — issued in the name of Alexander — to get the ‘on arrival’ visa at the Tribhuvan International Airport on April 3,” The Himalayan Times reported.

Khosravian was reported to have acquired the fake Israeli passport in Kuala Lumpur. He’d entered Malaysia with his Iranian passport on March 31, and recently traveled to Sri Lanka.

Last year saw a series of attempted attacks on Israeli embassies and tourists in several Asian cities, thought to be revenge for a reported campaign of assassinations against Iranian nuclear scientists, which Tehran blamed on Israel.

In February 2012, the wife of the Israeli military attache in New Delhi was attacked with a bomb, and a second bomb was found attached to a car outside the Israeli Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia. Several days later, a number of Iranians were implicated in a botched attack in Bangkok, seemingly aiming to hit an Israeli or Jewish site in Thailand.

Fake Israeli passports are openly advertised for sale on the Internet. A company called Fake Passports claims on its website to have been creating forged Israeli passport for years. The site lists its registrant with a Queensland, Australia, address.

Khosravian carried a tourist map of the Lazimpat area — the area in which the Israeli mission is located — and said he was staying at a Thamel-based hotel, and had reached the embassy while looking to find a computer repair shop.

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According to the records at the Kathmandu District Administration, Mohsin has been charged under the Public Offense Act. On the same day of his arrest, he was remanded in custody for investigation.

The Foreign Ministry had no comment for The Times of Israel when contacted regarding the story.

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