CST Blog

Was Chabad targeted again?

15 February 2010

On Saturday, a bomb exploded in a bakery in Pune, India, killing 9 people. The bakery was two doors away from the local Chabad House, and Indian authorities have suggested that Chabad may have been the intended target:

Indian Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said Sunday that the Chabad house in Pune had been under surveillance by David Headley, an American of Pakistani descent in prison in Chicago for allegedly scouting out targets for the Mumbai attack.

The Pune bomb that detonated on Saturday evening was left in the café, called the German Bakery, in a shopping bag by terrorists pretending to be customers, according to reports.

Police have speculated that another terrorist was meant to pick up the bag and take it to the nearby Chabad house, Haaretz reported. The bag exploded when a waiter opened it. 

 Another theory being considered by the Indian police is that the attackers were deterred by the security at Chabad House, which had been increased after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November 2008:

The terror bombing of the German Bakery in the Indian city of Pune has rekindled concern for the safety of Israelis and Jews in the subcontinent, particularly after the November 2008 Islamist assault on Mumbai landmarks that included that city’s Chabad House.

Like the Mumbai massacre, Saturday night’s bombing in Pune was the work of Pakistan-based terrorist groups, Indian security forces believe. And like that attack, this one may have been intended to include the small Chabad House just down the street from the bombed bakery.

“The head of police for our district visited us a few minutes ago, suggesting that it’s possible that the attackers were deterred by the policemen at our gate,” said Rachel Kupchik, who has run the Pune Chabad House together with her husband, Rabbi Bezalel Kupchik, for a decade.

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