Major Indian cities were put on high alert on Wednesday after the Delhi Police issued a warning about the entry of three heavily armed Pakistani terrorists, who might be suicide bombers, into the country. Police in Delhi, Mumbai and Goa have been alerted by intelligence agencies about possible twin threats from Islamic State and al-Qaeda.
The first alert, dated March 20, talks of IS and connected cells planning to avenge the attack in Christchurch, New Zealand in which 50 people died. A 29-year-old Australian citizen, Brenton Tarrant, had entered two mosques with automatic weapons and opened indiscriminate fire.
The input reads: “As per the information received from multiple sources, an audio speech of IS spokesperson Abu Hassan al-Muhajir is being circulated on closed online groups and chat platforms wherein Muhajir is heard calling on his supporters to avenge the massacre at the mosques. This audio and other chatter indicates intent to avenge the incident. Appropriate action may be taken in this connection.”
The second input, dated March 23, is about a possible strike by an al-Qaida cell at Jewish residential establishments
“An alert has been issued in the state (Punjab) after we received an input from the special cell of Delhi police,” the Punjab Police DGP (Law and Order) HS Dhillon said.
According to the report, terrorists will possibly use a vehicle or a knife in the attacks. Intelligence have suggested that security around the Israeli Embassy, Consulate General in Mumbai as well as synagogues and Chabad houses be tightened as musch as possible.
“Several Israelis used to be on a long duration visa in Goa and often congregated to pray at Chabad houses. However, of late they have reduced considerably, and the Chabad houses in North coastal belt are almost not operating”, said police sources.
Punjab has also witnessed two major terror attacks in the past nine months. Suspected Pakistani terrorists attacked the Pathankot Indian Air Force base on January 2 and killed seven security personnel.
In January 2016, terrorists had attacked an air force base in Pathankot, killing seven military personnel. They had car-jacked two vehicles – one belonging to a Punjab Police SP and another to a taxi driver – to travel to the base near the Pakistan border. In July 2015, the state had witnessed an attack in Dinanangar of the border Gurdaspur district.