The Mumbai police have increased security across Jewish establishments in the city in the wake of the recent terror attack on the Westgate Centre Mall in Nairobi partially owned by Israelis. Several restaurants inside the mall are said to be Israeli-owned or run.
In a security audit conducted soon after the attack, the threat to the Jewish community was discussed at length, police sources said. “With surveillance in the U.S.A. heightened after 9/11, attacking the Jewish community there is next to impossible. So the Al-Qaeda is looking at softer targets. The attack in Kenya is an example. India has a strong Jewish population, so an alert has been sounded across the country especially in States like Delhi, Maharashtra and Goa to strengthen the security around Jewish establishments and synagogues,” police sources said.
The sources told The Hindu that a Quick Response Team unit has been deployed outside every Jewish establishment. Security outside synagogues and other Jewish establishments here had been increased after the attack on Nariman House during 26/11. In February 2012, a bomb exploded near the car of an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi leaving two people injured. The German Bakery in Pune frequented by foreigners, including Israeli nationals, was attacked in February 2010.
An intelligence input issued earlier this month around the Jewish New Year, warned of a possible attack on the community by the Indian Mujahideen (IM). Its leader Yasin Bhatkal, recently arrested by the Indian agencies, has reportedly said the community was among its top targets.
“During his interrogation Bhatkal stated that earlier this year he was asked by his bosses to get Jewish hostages. He was working on a plan but got arrested,” police sources said. The IM is an offshoot of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and which is guided by the Al-Qaeda. The police said the Al-Qaeda could be actively involved in getting the IM to target Jews.