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Terrorism & Security

Israel says Bangkok, Delhi, and Tbilisi attacks all linked – to Iran

The Israeli ambassador to Thailand said that the bombs used in all three countries had similarities implying a common source. Two suspects were arrested carrying Iranian passports.

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In yesterday’s Bangkok attack, one bomb went off accidentally in a home and another shortly afterward while a man was carrying it. The day before, a bomb wrecked the car carrying an Israeli diplomat’s wife in New Delhi, injuring her and the driver. An attempted attack in Tbilisi was thwarted when the bomb was spotted and defused.

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Thai National Security Council head Wichean Potephosree said the type of explosives indicated that the targets were individuals, not buildings or large crowds, according to AP.

CBS News reports that Israel's Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch implied the state would seek revenge for this week’s attacks.

"We know who carried out the terror attacks, we know who sent them, and Israel will settle the score with them," Mr. Aharonovitch said on Israel Radio. Israel’s Channel 10 TV quoted unnamed Thai officials as saying that the men captured in Bangkok confessed to targeting Israeli “interests,” according to CBS.

The attacks come amid weeks of heated talk about the possibility of an Israeli military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, which Israel says are being used to develop nuclear weapons that could target Israel. Iran denies the charge.

Against that backdrop, these attacks come at a dangerous time, writes Jackson Diehl, editorial page editor for The Washington Post. If Iran is indeed behind them, it is taking a huge risk – not just politically, but economically. India, as the largest buyer of Iranian oil and the supplier of a vast amount of Iran’s rice imports, is a critical ally, particularly in light of recent sanctions.

The bomb in New Delhi will escalate tensions at a time when Israel is said to be considering a full-scale military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. But it could also endanger a vital economic lifeline for Tehran. That Iran would risk a strike in such a sensitive place suggests that its leaders are panicked.

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