Photo by Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images.
UPDATE: Investigators in India and Thailand are widening their search for suspects in the wake of a series of bombings last week that apparently targeted Israeli diplomats.
The BBC reports that Thai police are trying to round up two more suspects from Tuesday's botched bombings in Bangkok, including a bomb expert who may have trained the three suspects who are currently in custody.
And in India, the New York Times writes, investigators are examining phone logs from calls placed in the country to Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan and other Middle East locations around the time of Monday's blast in New Delhi, in which a motorcyclist attached a bomb to a car carrying in Israeli diplomat's wife.
Although Israel, backed up by the findings of the Thai police, believes Iran is responsible for the bombings, Iran and Hezbollah (also implicated by Israel) have strongly denied any involvement. As the New York Times explains, however, they might be distancing themselves from the bombings because they were executed so poorly.
Thursday, Feb. 16: Thai police are backing up Israel's claim that Iran played a role in the series of explosions in Bangkok on Tuesday, and in two earlier plots against Israeli diplomats in Georgia and India.
Three Iranian men were arrested in connection to the botched Bangkok bombings, two in Thailand and one in Malaysia. A fourth suspect, Leila Rohani, rented the house destroyed in the explosions and is believed to be back in Iran.
According to Thai national police chief Priewpan Damapong, the targets were "individuals, Israeli diplomats, not the Thai people," the BBC reports. Priewpan said the suspects would likely be charged with possession of explosive devices and attempted murder. Four people (in addition to one of the bombers) were injured in the blasts.
According to the Associated Press, the key evidence linking the Bangkok plot to the India and Georgia bombings is the similarity of the bombs used in all three cases.
It seems that the plot, which was described as being in the "advanced" stages of planning, went wrong on Tuesday, when explosives inside a house where several Iranians were living detonated accidentally. Two Iranians, Mohammad Kharzei and Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, managed to flee the house. As the BBC tells it, Saeid Moradi left the house last, apparently injured. When a taxi wouldn't stop for him, he threw "at least" one bomb at it. Then, fleeing police, he attempted to throw a bomb at them, but severely injured himself in the process, losing both legs in the explosion.
Iran and Israel have blamed each other for the attacks this week, with Israel saying the Islamic Republic, in coordination with Hezbollah, planned a series of attacks targeting Israeli diplomats. Iran, meanwhile, insists that Israel carried out the bombings themselves to draw attention away from what they believe was an Israeli assassination of five Iranian nuclear scientists in January.
Tuesday, Feb. 14: Israel's defense minister on Tuesday blamed Iran for a series of explosions in Bangkok, Thailand, linking them with attacks on Israeli diplomats in Georgia and India the day before.
"The attempted terror attack in Thailand proves once again that Iran and its proxies continue to operate in the ways of terror and the latest attacks are an example of that," Defense Minister Ehud Baraks said in a statement from Singapore, where he is currently traveling, CNN reports.
The Associated Press reports Tuesday's bizarre sequence of explosions began when explosives detonated by accident in a Bangkok house occupied by three Iranians. One of those men, identified as Saeid Moradi, severely injured himself when he flung a grenade at police and blew off his own legs. Another of the Iranians, identified as Mohummad Hazaei, was arrested at Bangkok’s international airport as he tried to board a flight for Malaysia. The third man is still on the run.
If the attacks were indeed coordinated by the Iranian government, the string of events this week could mark an escalating, undercover proxy war between Israel and Iran over Iran’s controversial nuclear program.
Four people were injured during an attack on an Israeli diplomat's car in New Delhi on Monday. Later the same day in Tbilisi, Georgia, an explosive device was safely defused after being found under the car of a man employed as a driver at the Israeli embassy, the Guardian reports.
Israel, however, isn't the only side lobbing accusations. Iran has blamed the United States and Israel for a January attack in Tehran that killed an Iranian scientist—the third such killing in the past two years in which someone placed a bomb on or under a scientist's car.