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Why terror groups would target Delhi

By Vicky Nanjappa
April 22, 2010 14:10 IST
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The United States of America has issued an advisory to all its citizens in India stating that crowded markets in Delhi may be targeted by terror groups.

Sources in the Indian intelligence agencies, who have been sharing information with the US and are cooperating on this issue, told that terror groups within the country will carry out the attack.

The Indian Mujahideen may use a new name for the operation, since they would not want the heat to increase on it, sources revealed.

The original target is the Commonwealth Games and the Indian Premier League. However, with security being tightened around the IPL venues, the IM will be looking to strike a couple of months prior to the CWG to create panic.

For this they may target areas frequented by foreign tourists. Americans in particular are not the target, just foreigners in general, IB sources say. Terror groups feel targeting foreigners will scare away international sportspersons and tarnish the games.

The plans for the attacks are being made in Pakistan, the IB sources say. The likes of Ilyas Kashmiri, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen operational chief and Al Qaeda commander, are directly involved and he has always wanted to rope in the Indian Mujahideen, the Kerala outfit in particular, to carry out such an attack. Kashmiri's recent conversations indicate plans for the attack. Kashmiri, the IB sources say, is desperate for a big strike.

The IM, which has been regrouping, has been making desperate attempts to get their act together. Barring a couple of minor incidents, they have not struck big since Operation BAD (pertaining to the dubious terror plan to strike Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Delhi)

Several of their operatives have been arrested, but the real concern for security agencies is that the top brass is still elusive and capable of planning attacks from across the border.

There are many indications that the IM is regrouping. They have commenced recruitment and their operatives from the Valley have been pulled out to concentrate more on the rest of India, IB sources believe.

IB sources say that an attack on Delhi is of great importance for both Kashmiri and the IM. He is also trying to express solidarity with the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, which has now taken it upon itself to send a clear signal to New Delhi over the 'water row' with Pakistan.

The IM also has a lot to prove in Delhi too. An attack on the capital will give them the mileage they have been desperate for. They would also like to send a message to the Delhi police since they feel several youth were wronged in the Batla Hosue encounter.

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