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Lashkar threat to Commonwealth Games: Stratfor

July 02, 2010 15:21 IST

The Commonwealth Games face a threat from Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Tayiba, a US think-tank has said.

During an interview with PTI, Vice-President of Tactical Intelligence, Stratfor, Scott Stewart said: "Yes. Two days after the February 13, 2010 blast in Pune, Ilyas Kashmiri (wanted Al Qaeda terrorist) threatened the Field Hockey World Cup, the Indian Premier League cricket competition and the Commonwealth Games."

In support of his claims, the Stratfor analyst quoted a warning of 'continue attacks all across India until the Indian army leaves Kashmir' posted by Kashmiri via the Asia Times Online on February 13 this year.

In his message, Kashmiri had also warned the world against sending participants to upcoming global sporting events, including the Field Hockey World Cup, the Indian Premier League and the Commonwealth Games -- to be held in India this year.

"If you are a militant group planning an attack, the last thing you want to do is to provide a distinct warning and place the security forces on high alert. There are, however, many different terrorist outfits (such as the LeT) that have an interest in hitting India and it is possible that one of them may be planning something," Stewart said.

He, however, added, "Again, we would not expect to hear a threat from a group that was planning an attack, especially the closer we edge to the event they want to attack. They would be very quiet."

"Publicised threat statements made by terrorists are not a reliable way to judge the true threat to an event," said the Stratfor analyst.

Over 70 countries are likely to participate in the mega sporting event scheduled from October 3-14 this year. Delhi Police and Central security agencies are striving hard to ensure foolproof security for the event, which is being hosted by the country for the first time.

Ashwini Shrivastava in New Delhi
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