Terror cells active in India, warns Israel

Jerusalem: Terror cells are "active" in India, a senior Israeli minister has said, underlining that the recent attack on a diplomat in New Delhi should spur the two nations to step up counter-terrorism cooperation.

"The incident (attack on an Israeli diplomat in Delhi on Monday) makes it clear that there are terrorist cells in India. They have targeted recently us but in the past they have also targeted Indian citizens and others. What one can see here is a growing joint interest of India and Israel, who are both exposed to terror threats", Israel`s Minister for Energy and Water Resources, Uzi Landau, told PTI, ahead of his three day trip to India next week.

Landau had earlier, served as Public Security minister. Landau`s comment came as the Israeli Foreign Ministry said, it had stepped up security for its diplomats posted overseas.

Ministry`s spokesman said, that Tel Aviv is taking "whatever measures are required" to allow the diplomats to function. He declined to outline the steps, but the media reported that Israeli diplomats in some countries had been ordered to work out of their homes and avoid travel to the local embassy.

The Israeli cabinet minister`s visit will come days after the terror attack in the Indian capital in which for the first time the magnetic bombs were used. His tour to India will follow, a visit of a high level Israeli security team.

India and Israel have a continuing dialogue and sharing of information on terrorism. Tel Aviv has recently emerged as one of the major suppliers of counter-terrorism weaponry to New Delhi.

The minister described terrorism as an "existential challenge" for both India and Israel and said, the two countries had shared inputs on incidents like Delhi and Mumbai attack of 2008.

Such terror strikes, Landau asserted is not going to in any way deter cooperation between the two countries, but will only make engagement more vigorous. "We have many joint interests – economic, political, cultural, and we are also exposed to mutual threats, so the cooperation between India and Israel in all probability will continue, and so vigorously", he said.

"What happened in Delhi a few days ago will only step up Israel`s engagement with India to further enhance our relationship in all possible fields and at the same time we will continue to intercept those terrorists wherever they are with the cooperation of security services all over the world", said the Israeli minister.

Terrorism is not something new to India or Israel and the two countries are "developing our lives as democracies, our economy, under threats of increasing terrorism. This is now the challenge, an existential challenge, for all those who belong to the civilization of democracy and rule of law".