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Why foreigners are the new terror targets

By Vicky Nanjappa
September 18, 2009 16:28 IST
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The warning by the Counter-Terrorism Bureau at the National Security Council regarding attacks on Israelis in India comes at a time when all terror groups have decided that targeting an Israeli would be the only way to get the better of the United States of America.

A warning had been issued on Thursday that Pakistan based terror groups along with the Al Qaeda are looking to attack Israelis in India. The threat had been termed as imminent and concrete, which means that the warning has been issued with specific evidence.

The Mumbai 26/11 attack had witnessed a specific attack on Israelis when Lashkar-e-Tayiba militants had attacked the Chabad House and killed several Israeli nationals. Intelligence Bureau sources told that the plan to attack Nariman House was not part of the original plan and was included much later.

IB sources say that the threat on Israelis is not only India specific, but they are under the constant watch of terror groups across the world. However, terror groups are tempted to attack Israelis in India since they have realized that the attack on Nariman House has had a huge impact and they have managed to insult the Israelis, sources also point out.

Intercepts that have been picked up suggest that both the Al Qaeeda and other Pakistan based terror groups have decided that targeting foreigners in other countries would be the new plan. While they would look for Israelis in particular due to obvious reasons, the directive is to target foreigners in general.

Specific instructions have been handed out to conduct recees across the country and pass on information about places which are dominated by foreigners.

However, the information also obtained goes on to suggest that the attacks would not be conducted by the local modules operating within India. The terror groups are training a special batch of youth from the Kashmir region to carry out this job.

The IB says that the militant groups never trust local operatives for major operations and hence they always train someone either from the Kashmir group or from their soil to carry out such operations. Looking at the manner in which these groups are training to attack foreigners, it appears that a fidayeen strike is being planned.

The plan to attack foreigners has always been on the mind of Pakistan based terrorists. A major attack to carry out a series of attacks in Goa by the Hyderabad-Bangalore module had been busted a year back.

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru