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US warns of terror attacks in India
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 11
The US Embassy here has warned of a series of bombing in or around New Delhi and Mumbai between today and August 16 by “foreign terrorists” and dropped a bombshell that the Al-Qaida could also be involved in such strikes.

So far, the Al-Qaida has not been found involved in any terrorist attack on Indian soil. This is despite the fact that the International Islamic Front, the earliest version of the Al-Qaida founded in 1990, had included India and Hindus on the list of countries and races which the outfit meant to target.

However, the US warning did not ruffle the feathers of the nation’s security managers who maintained that they perceived a greater and more potent threat from Pakistan-based terrorist outfits rather than the Al-Qaida.

Nonetheless, the Indian security establishment, already on the highest alert in view of the Independence Day and Janmashtami, is leaving nothing to chance.

A contingent of 38 crack commandos was flown to Kalpakkam this evening for protecting the nuclear installation there. The US Embassy warned that apart from major airports and key government installations, hotels and markets could also be targeted by terrorists.

It said: “The (US) Embassy has learned that foreign terrorists, possibly members of the Al-Qaida, allegedly intend to carry out bombing attacks in or around New Delhi and Mumbai in the days leading up to the Independence Day. Likely targets include major airports, key central Indian Government offices, and major gathering places such as hotels and markets. The Embassy urges American citizens to maintain a low profile and be especially alert and attentive to their surroundings during this period.”

However, Indian security experts like Mr Ved Marwah, Mr Joginder Singh and Capt Bharat Verma opined that the message was aimed more at American citizens in India rather than India’s threat perception. Mr Marwah, who has been an adviser to the Jammu and Kashmir Governor, told this correspondent that threat to India emanated more from Pakistan terrorist outfits rather than the Al-Qaida.

Captain Verma, Editor of Indian Defence Review and a commentator on security matters, said time had already run out for the Government of India to go for soft options.

It is understood that the Government of India has its own credible reports that terrorists, who are opposed to the peace process, are planning to launch major strikes in several parts of the country. 




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