Thursday, August 22, 2013

143 terror alerts for state in 7 months

TOI report of a terror alert for south India on Wednesday

Sharad Vyas & Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The state has received 143 intelligence alerts about terror strikes across the state in the past seven months.
 Arecent terror alert, issued by the joint director of VIP Security (under the home ministry), spoke about various outfits such as LeT, Al-Umar Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Babbar Khalsa International uniting on a platform for a fresh strike against India.
 But according to sources, most of the intelligence inputs, provided by central agencies between January and July, were apparently not target-specific.
 Referring to the influx of terror alerts, home minister R R Patil said either the police have managed to avert most of the attacks or the inputs themselves were vague. “Therefore, it is wrong to say after every attack that the state government does not take serious cognizance of the inputs,” said Patil, following allegations that the killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in Pune was a failure of the state police to respond to intelligence inputs.
 A police source also said that while the central and state intelligence agencies were known for informing the force about possible terror strikes, 99% of their alerts were vague. “The intelligence agencies send us terror alerts three or four times a week. Most of the time they are general and have no head or tail. But if something goes wrong, the intelligence agencies point to those unspecified information and claim they had already alerted the state’s police,” said a retired police officer.
 While referring to the recent intelligence input, the police said, “In the same alert, they have also mentioned the collaboration of Sikh modules with Muslim fundamentalist groups. The same message also mentions an old information, that of 2009, when the BKI, LeT, JeM and ISI, planned to target senior leaders like Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, L K Advani and Sukhbir Singh Badal. But the input did not have any specific date, time, suspected attacker or place of attack. Fortunately, everything is fine but the question is that why is specific information not sent.”
 Another police officer said, “Due to non-specified and vague alerts, even the policemen do not take the information seriously. They pass it on to police stations, sign it and keep in their record.”  
Past Inputs 
 The state received an input that an outfit, Al-Jihad, planned to strike at the US consulate in Mumbai on July 21.

•Another alert stated that the Sikh militant may use IED in loudspeakers, perfume bomb and camera bomb to eliminate some prominent personalities.

•Last year, a letter alerted about a possible attack on HPCL and BPCL oil depots in Mumbai.

The Times of India, August 22, 2013

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