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December 13, 2001
1845 IST

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Govt has leads on attack, says Advani

Home Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani said on Thursday that the government had got certain leads that would help it unravel the conspiracy behind the terrorist attack on Parliament House.

"We have certain leads which will make it possible to unearth the entire conspiracy," Advani told a press conference after a meeting of the Union Cabinet and the Cabinet Committee on Security.

He said the principal target of such terrorist attacks was democracy. From Thursday's attack as well as the October 1 attack on the Jammu & Kashmir assembly, terrorists had indicated that their main enemy was democratic society, a free society in which people dominate, he said.

Advani said the objective of the terrorists was to somehow get inside Parliament with their AK-47 rifles and grenades while it was in session and all members were inside.

He said that though Thursday's incident had come as a shock to the whole nation, a "matter of gratification" was the manner in which the security forces had not only prevented them from entering Parliament House but had killed all five within a short while.

Advani said there were some indications after the arrest of an Al Qaeda operative Mohammed Afroz Abdul Razaq in Maharashtra that terrorists could attack important places like Parliament House.

Following the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India, Afroz was caught and had confessed to having been part of a larger conspiracy that led to the attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon in the United States. Parliament House was also on their hit list, he had said.

Citing Indira Gandhi's assassination, he said it was wrong to say that she was not well protected. But when a person is willing to die committing such an act, it becomes difficult to protect the targets, he argued.

Advani denied any intelligence failure leading to Thursday's attack. He said that when he had indicated that the government had certain leads, it was on the basis of inputs that it already had.

PTI

Complete Coverage: The Attack on Parliament

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