Militants planning fresh attacks on India, claims report

Indian officials said on Friday they were in contact with Israel after a television report said Jerusalem had a “pinpoint” intelligence tip-off about Pakistani militants attacking India in the coming weeks.

Citing a leaked copy of a travel advisory due out on Friday, Israel’s Channel Two said the potential attackers had al-Qaeda links and planned to target both Western and Jewish tourists in attacks similar to last year’s attacks in Mumbai.

In a report aired on Thursday, the channel said the advisory would warn Israeli citizens to avoid travelling to India.

“We are regularly in touch with them, sharing intelligence and news about any threats. But we have not heard anything specific about the latest alert,” said KP Raghuvanshi, head of Mumbai’s anti-terrorism force.

Two other Indian officials, who are not authorised to speak to reporters, said Indian intelligence agencies were liaising with Israel on the latest threat.

India was put on high alert this week after intelligence reports said Pakistan-based militants were trying to sneak into India through the Kashmir border, officials said.

“We are successfully thwarting them. At least 60 militants have been shot dead on the border in the last 12 months,” Gopal Pillai, a top Interior Ministry official, told Reuters on Friday.

“Security in any case has been very tight for tourists and as a result there has not been a single terrorist attack on them in the last several months.”

Pakistan-based militant groups usually step up efforts to push their members into Indian Kashmir before winter snow blocks the Himalayan mountain passes.

India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said last month there was “credible information” that Pakistan-based militant groups were planning fresh attacks on India.
He did not give details.

India is a popular destination for Israeli holidaymakers, especially during Jewish festivals such as the traditional new year, which begins on Friday night.

Foreign tourists at two plush hotels and a Jewish centre were among the several targets attacked by 10 gunmen in last November’s militant strike on Mumbai. India said the attackers were Pakistani nationals.—Reuters

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