The Maharashtra police have received a terror alert from central intelligence agencies warning that eight militants are undergoing training in Pakistan-based camps to attack targets in south India from Sri Lanka.
Sent by the joint director of VIP Security (under the Union home ministry) in New Delhi in mid-August, the nine-page alert states that four of the terror trainees are “Punjabis and the remainingKashmiris or Pathans”.
Their “drop-off point” is expected to be around 28km off Jaffna and their target could be Mayiladuthurai or Madurai in Tamil Nadu, according to the alert, the Times of India reported.
The warning asks security agencies across the country to be on high alert since the attack may come in “a few months”. Following the notice’s receipt, the Mumbai police have activated all their sources of information.
A passage on the alert’s third page reads, “Sri Lankan agencies are reported to have arrested three suspected Pak nationals on February 2, 2013, who confessed to having visited Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram on Sri Lankan passports.”
It continues: “An unconfirmed input suggests entry of such elements in Kerala or Tamil Nadu through sea route with the connivance of Sinhalese fishermen. It has been reported that LeT ( Lashkar-e-Taiba) is working on a plot to carry out attacks in India and eight terror suspects are being trained in Pakistan”.
The alert expresses concern over the attempts of several terror outfits—including LeT, Babbar Khalsa International, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Jamat-ud-Dawaa, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Al-Umer Mujahideen, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen—at joining hands to organize strikes in India. It also points to several Pakistan-based groups’ efforts to use Sri Lanka as the launching pad for their operations in India.
The warning mentions various intelligence inputs gathered over time. One such input suggested the LeT is plotting to target the Wagah border crossing, particularly during the flag-lowering ceremony.
Another bit of information—received in September 2012 and uncorroborated—said that Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is planning a 26/11-style attack in New Delhi. Yet another input was of a meeting, “organised by LeT commander Habib ur Rehman”, of commanders of several militant outfits in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan this year. During the meet, the alert says, Rehman pressured the commanders to push maximum possible cadres into India to carry out “small targeted actions” in different parts of the country.
The warning also speaks of an input of a meeting of terror groups where they decided to avenge the execution of Parliament attack convict, Afzal Guru, by striking Tihar jail in New Delhi.