New Year: Nationwide terror alert!!

New Delhi, Dec, 28: The Centre has sounded a ‘general’ nation-wide terror alert ahead of the New Year, asking security agencies and state/Union Territories police to step up vigilance especially in Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore and different cities in Gujarat, including Ahmadabad. Police have been asked to focus on Bombay Stock Exchange and different properties of the Taj group of hotels in Mumbai, software companies in Bangalore and various tourist hot spots in Goa.

“Though there is no ‘specific’ intelligence, we have asked states and UTs to be on alert as human intelligence (HumInt), gathered by Central agencies, suggest some activities in the Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT) sleeper cells,” said an official here. The HumInt inputs also suggest that the terrorists may try to carry out their operations by attacking any one or more targets, identified by American Lashkar terrorist David Coleman Headley during his multiple visits to India between 2006 and 2009.

Headley had identified a number of targets including National Defence College (NDC) in Delhi and various Chabad Houses in different cities including the national Capital, Mumbai, Ajmer and Pune. “The home ministry has asked all the states and UTs to tighten security by deploying extra forces in all sensitive locations. Additional Central forces have already been sent to Goa in view of increased flow of international tourists and the golden jubilee celebrations of the liberation of the tiny coastal state,” said the official.

The inputs also suggested that the terrorists may try to target one of the properties of the Taj group of hotels in Mumbai. “The inputs indicate some Taj hotels\properties in Mumbai as the source did not talk about location,” said the official. Security forces have already launched “house-to-house” searches in some specific areas in Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Additional forces had been deployed in all sensitive and crowded places, including markets, religious places, bus and railway stations in these two cities early last week on the basis of some intelligence inputs. Mumbai Police had subsequently also released sketch of LeT’s terrorist who might have sneaked into the city for the operation.

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