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'Games are an appealing target for Lashkar'

Last updated on: September 23, 2010 12:55 IST

'Games are an appealing target for Lashkar'

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The Commonwealth Games in New Delhi will be an "appealing target" for Pakistan-based terror group LeT due to its political and economic significance for India, a top US counter-terrorism official has warned.

"We are concerned that next month's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi will be an appealing target for Lashkar-e-Tayiba due to their political and economic significance for India," said Michael Leiter, the Director of the US National Counter-terrorism Centre.

Leiter, who testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday, said the threat level increases because of the heightened media exposure that will accompany the October 3-14 mega event.

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Photographs: Reuters
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Meanwhile, Indian government has prepared a four-layer security plan for the mega event, which will see participation of around 8,500 athletes from 71 countries competing in 17 events.

The security plan envisages snipers on rooftops, commando hit teams and expert groups to tackle any chemical, biological, radioactive or nuclear attacks.

Around 80,000 police personnel, over 17,500 paramilitary personnel, 3,000 commandos and 100 anti-sabotage check teams will be deployed across New Delhi during the event.



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Leiter said LeT's attacks in Kashmir and other parts of India have had a destabilising effect on the region, increasing tensions and brinkmanship between New Delhi and Islamabad.

"LeT poses a threat to a range of interests in South Asia," he said.

He also warned that although the terror group has not previously conducted attacks in the West, LeT -- or LeT-trained individuals -- could pose a direct threat to the Homeland and Europe, especially should they collude with Al Qaeda operatives.



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