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Have LeT terrorists skipped Mumbai for Bengaluru?

December 27, 2010 12:32 IST
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa held a high level meeting on Monday morningĀ amid reportsĀ of a specific threat that the four Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorists on the loose in Mumbai are likely to target Bengaluru ahead of the New Year. The chief minister held a meeting with the home minister, the state police chief and the Intelligence Bureau officials.

The IB in its alert had mentioned that the four men who are on the loose in Mumbai since the past week are also looking to target Bengaluru for two reasons. One, striking terror in the IT capital of India advances its dream of weakening India economically, and two, the LeT has been wanting to carry out a big strike in Bengaluru after the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in the state.

At the meeting, it was decided that given the specific nature of the threat, security would be enhanced around public places. All entry and exit points to the city will be checked and security at the airport, railways stations and bus stands will also be beefed up.

Meanwhile, the four Lashkar men who slipped into Mumbai from Bangladesh continue to remain at large. The police now suspect that they could have slipped out into neighbouring areas and may be planning their attack from there. The police also suspect that these men could have also specifically come down to boost some of the modules in these areas.

The four Lashkar men have been identified as Abdul Kareem Moosa, Noor Abu Ilahi, Walid Jinnah and Mahfooz Alam. The police suspect that these men may have changed their appearance, making the task of identifying them harder.

The Lashkar has found that its modules in both Mumbai and Bengaluru have depleted and could have planned a major strike in either of these cities to rebuild them and also instill confidence in new recruits who have been demoralised by the extensive police crackdown in recent times.

While Mumbai remains the Lashkar's primary target, Bengaluru too has something to worry about.

The IT city has seen three terror strikes in the last few years (the shoot out at the IISc, serial blasts and the stadium blasts) and on a comparative scale of what the terror groups are capable of, these strikes have been classified as failures.

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru