Thursday, December 29, 2005

Security agencies caught off guard

Security agencies caught off guard
Deccan Herald

Top officials in the Union Home Ministry went into a huddle late on Wednesday night to take stock of the unprecedented incident of the widely suspected terrorist attack on an "unconventional" target like the IISc....

Top officials in the Union Home Ministry went into a huddle late on Wednesday night to take stock of the unprecedented incident of the widely suspected terrorist attack on an "unconventional" target like the IISc.

If top officials in the Ministry were to be believed, the country’s internal security establishment came into know of the attack only from electronic media. But shocked as they were, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the Home Minister Shivraj Patil directed the security agencies to immediately take stock of the situation arising out of the Bangalore attack. The Prime Minister was attending a banquet at Rashtrapati Bhavan in honour of visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse when he was apparently told about the incident.

What has seemingly shocked the security agencies is that they were aware of plots by suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba recruits to carry out terrorist attacks on unconventional targets like IT Parks, leading scientific and industrial establishments across the country, particularly in Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Invaluable inputs

Indeed, Deccan Herald, quoting top Delhi Police officials, reported on Tuesday about the plot as they had got invaluable inputs in this regard from three suspected terrorists they had nabbed recently — one belonging to Bangalore, another to Bangladesh and the third one from West Bengal. Besides this information, top Home Ministry officials disclosed late on Wednesday night that a recent LET terrorist nabbed by security agencies in Kashmir had, during his interrogation both here and in Kashmir, had revealed LTTE’s plot to carry out attacks in Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Terrorist camps

Also, on Monday, Delhi’s joint police commissioner (special cell) Karnal Singh had referred to suspected Pakistani involvement in the plot. Pakistani intelligence agency, the ISI, had opened terrorist training camps in Balochistan (a province of Pakistan) and have been ferrying Indians and Bangladeshi nationals to provide weapons training," he stated. Security officials here believe that the LET might have already established its modules in places like Bangalore to carry out terrorist attacks.

Exit points sealed

Meanwhile, the Bangalore City Police sealed all entry and exit points of the city, including the main bus stations, railway stations and airports, to check the escape of the attackers. Commuters who were oblivious to the entire situation were caught off guard when they were stopped and checked by police at all main junctions.

City Police Commissioner Ajai Kumar Singh made an appeal to the public to alert the police immediately if they spot any suspicious activities or persons behaving in a suspicious manner. He said that police may be contacted immediately in this regard, where the individual will have to give details of the whereabouts of such persons.


City police ignored three alerts

Bangalore, DHNS: The Intelligence Bureau (IB) had alerted the city police and the state police in November about a possible attack by the Lashkar-e-Toiba militant outfit.

According to the IB sources, there were at least three such alerts in the span of 20 days to the state police.

They said there was information on possible attacks by Jamat-e-Mujaheeddin and the LeT militants on vital installations, including the Indian Institute of Science and IT companies in Bangalore.

However, the sources said there was no specific information about their target.

IB sources told Deccan Herald that Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), during its recent meeting, had planned “a strategy with extremist groups to launch fresh attacks on a limited basis in the Indian territory, especially in the southern states.”

The prime targets chosen were Bangalore and Hyderabad.


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