Chopper over Chabad House in Mumbai (archives)
Photo: AFP

India to deport 'suspected Israeli agents'

Times of India quotes intelligence officer in Kochi as saying Israeli couple suspected of taking part in covert op launched in aftermath of attack on Chabad House in Mumbai

India will deport an Israeli couple which arrived at the city of Kochi in March 2010 for "suspicious activities," The Times of India reported Tuesday.


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According to the report, Shneor Zalman and Yaffa Shenoi arrived on a multiple-entry visa and rented a house on Rose Street in the city. 


"Central intelligence got an alert about a covert operation being carried out by suspected Israeli agents after the 26/11 terror attacks in which south Mumbai's Chabad House came under attack and six Jews, including a rabbi and his pregnant wife, were killed," a local intelligence officer was quoted by The Times of India as saying.


"A communication was sent to all states and it was our wing in (the state of) Kerala that traced this couple at Fort Kochi," he said.


The officer added: "A monthly rent of 50,000 rupees (about $1,000) is disproportionately high, even in Fort Kochi. This is one of the main factors that made us suspicious."


The newspaper said Indian agencies will interrogate the "suspected Israeli agents" before they are deported. "We have traced the couple's financial transactions. Preliminary investigations suggest similar Israelis are camping in various parts of the country," an official told The Times of India.


The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said Indian authorities have yet to relay any information regarding the Israelis' arrest. "Israel respects the India's laws, and there is no reason to raise such suspicions against Israel," the ministry said in a statement.


The female suspect, Yaffa, told Ynet she and her husband heard of the report, but she denied they were ever arrested or interrogated. "No one has spoken to us. A local source told us we are supposed to receive a letter from the authorities."


The report said the couple also aroused suspicions when people arrived at their home for late-night meetings. "It's pretty strange," Yaffa said, "apparently the report is talking about Shabbat dinners with Israelis and local Jews."


Addressing the high rent, the Israeli woman said, "This is a large house that is designated for Chabad activities. It only costs $1,000 a month – not an insane amount. Local police spoke to us a few times and asked that we do not hold large gathering in the house; nothing out of the ordinary.



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פרסום ראשון: 02.07.12, 11:03
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