On Saturday, July 29, the Mumbai police ramped up the security of Chabad House in the Colaba area of Mumbai after a Google image of the Chabad House was recovered from two Al-Sufa terrorists arrested by Pune Police on July 18. The Mumbai ATS recently took over the investigation into the case. It is notable that Chabad house was one of the targets of the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai in 2008.
Indian police successfully foiled a terrorist attack against Israelis at a Chabad house in Mumbai a few days ago 🇮🇳🇮🇱
The two Pakistani men arrested, were found to be in possession of explosives, drone equipment, laptops, and incriminating books written in Arabic. Among the… pic.twitter.com/fsejoQNIdo
— Inbar Cohen (@InbarCohen13) August 3, 2023
As reported earlier, ATS had taken over the probe after Pune Police arrested the terrorists Mohammad Imran Mohammad Yunus and Mohammad Yunus Mohammad Yakub Saki for their involvement in a terror attack planning in Rajasthan.
Officials discovered two Google images and GPS coordinates of the Chabad House with the two Al-Sufa Jihadis during the investigation. In response, the Mumbai Police increased security and held a mock drill in the area. Security was increased outside Mumbai’s Chabad House.
Previously, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad arrested a person in Pune for providing refuge to both the suspected terrorists.
“It was found during the investigation of the two suspects that they sought the assistance of a person in Pune to make arrangements for their shelter when they arrived in the city. Based on information obtained during the interrogation of the accused, the said person was detained first, and after questioning, he was arrested and booked along with the two suspects,” Maharashtra ATS stated.
The authorities searched their Pune residence and found several suspicious items, including a box containing “drone material,” a pistol pouch, a live cartridge, a tent which they would have used in the future use to have shelter in the jungles, a laptop, some “white coloured pills,” fake Aadhaar cards, and Arabic literature.
Chabad House and 26/11 Mumbai attacks
Chabad House is a renowned Jewish cultural centre that provides a variety of events and services to the local Jewish population as well as tourists.
Ten Pakistani terrorists came to Mumbai via sea route on November 26, 2008. The Jihadis targeted Nariman House, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Leopold Cafe, and prominent hotels such as Taj Palace and Trident in Mumbai’s southern outskirts. Aside from opening fire in public and slaughtering scores of people, they also put a bomb inside a taxi and drove it into Mumbai’s suburbs.
The attacks claimed the lives of 166 people, including foreign nationals. Ajmal Kasab was arrested alive by Mumbai police from a vehicle on Marine Drive, and all nine of his other accomplices were neutralized during the course of a 60-hour organisation.
Two attackers took over Nariman House, a Chabad Lubavitch Jewish facility in Mumbai known as Chabad House, and held several residents hostage. During the horrific attacks in 2008, seven people were killed by gunmen at Nariman Chabad House, including Chabad Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his 28-year-old Israeli-born wife Rivka.
Interestingly, a 2021 report by London-based Jewish weekly newspaper The Jewish Chronicle claimed citing Indian government sources that Chabad House was chosen as a Jewish target during the 26/11 attacks and was not an opportunistic or random target.
Wiretap recordings of the Mumbai attacks revealed how the terrorists chose a Jewish target and other areas as part of a strategy to kill people from different communities and garner maximum media attention.
According to the report, the recordings of the terrorists discussing their target selection match the method utilised in the deployment of the ten well-equipped Pakistani terrorists. The report added that one of the voices heard was that of terrorist Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.
Following the 2008 terrorist attack, the Chabad House in Mumbai received extensive security upgrades. According to Shlomi Peles, CEO of Chabad World Assistance (CWA), Chabad has been implementing numerous security measures, including physical protection, camera installations, and seminars for Chabad House heads around the world, in response to the growing global trend of seeking to harm Jewish symbols.