Officers in the Intelligence Bureau say that the slew of threats are an attempt by various terror outfits to create panic. Vicky Nanjappa reports
A few hours after the hanging of 26/11 Mumbai terror convict Ajmal Kasab on November 21, the Intelligence Bureau had issued a general alert warning of possible retaliatory strikes in India. Several security agencies today are studying these threats and ascertaining its seriousness as there have been many such warnings that have been issued in the past couple of days.
On one hand the Jammu and Kashmir police are studying the mail that was sent a day after the hanging which stated that terrorist groups would carry out attacks in the state. Another threat call that is under the scanner is from a group in Pakistan that has claimed to avenge the death of Kasab within a month and that it has already sent in its forces to Hyderabad and Punjab.
While there is a great deal of anger among many groups, the Intelligence Bureau officials say that this appears to be an opportune time for such groups to jump into the limelight. We are not discrediting the threats but there is a good chance of many of them being a hoax.
Sources say that a similar attempt to create panic was made by many groups following the exodus of north-east Indians in August. Emails were sent out claiming that there would be a spate of attacks. It resulted in unsettling security agencies and creating fear in the minds of the people.
However, the other aspect to such threats is the possibility of terror groups trying to wake up the modules and get them ready for action. Through the hanging of Kasab, many feel that emotions could be stirred up and this would lead to more persons wanting to take up arms. Officials say that while Kasab was a terrorist for India, in many circles in Pakistan he is viewed as a martyr.
The latest threat by a faction in Pakistan speaks about hitting back at India within a month. The group says that it already has its cadres ready in Hyderabad ready to strike. Security agencies will keep a close watch in parts of Hyderabad that have witnessed communal tensions. There is always a lurking danger of forces rising following communal tensions and hence the watch over these areas has been high in the past couple of weeks.
Intelligence Bureau officials say that threats would emerge from lesser known groups as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba has been refrained from making any open statements on the hanging. Through these groups, the Lashkar would continue to send out messages and apart from creating fear they would also try and rope in youngsters to join their movement in a bid to attain martyrdom.
Meanwhile, the investigations into the mail sent out from a Bengaluru cyber cafe continues. A special team of the Jammu and Kashmir police has been camping in Bangalore as the mail was sent to a hotel in Kashmir. So far the police have not been able to find any link between the mail and a major terrorist group. Police sources say that before they rule it out as a hoax they would want to dig deeper and find out if there is any particular group or groups aiming to spread panic through such mails.