Centre's alert to states on possible terror attacks

Centre's alert to states on possible terror attacks

The Centre today alerted the states in the wake of Peshawar school massacre to the heightened possibility of terror attacks ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit to India next month.

In a country-wide advisory, the Home Ministry has asked the law enforcement agencies to take all measures towards "target hardening" of vulnerable places and installations.
"This includes public places with high footfalls, public transport including railways and schools in particular.

"In the light of the attack on a school in Pakistan, there appears to be an immediate requirement to scale up security around schools and other educational institutions which are considered more vulnerable due to a variety of factors," the Home Ministry advisory said.

The advisory referred to the terror attacks in Peshawar and Sydney in last two days, the recent developments with regard to ISIS both in India and the Middle East and said it has heightened the possibility of terrorist attack in the light of the ensuing visit of the President of USA to India for the Republic Day functions.

"In the light of the attack on a school in Pakistan, there appears to be an immediate requirement to scale up security around schools and other educational institutions which are considered more vulnerable due to a variety of factors," it said.

The Home Ministry said till the end of January next the security forces and intelligence agencies need to remain on a very high alert mode to prevent untoward incidents witnessed recently elsewhere in neighbourhood as well as other parts of the world," he said.

Also in another related advisory, the Home Ministry said there have been reports that LeT is looking for targeting two unspecified hotel in New Delhi and an unspecified highway between New Delhi and Agra.

The Home Ministry advisory suggested that mock drills may be conducted on the basis of existing Standard Operating Procedures in all the vulnerable locations.

It said terror threat can emanate form banned SIMI members, who had escaped from Khandwa jail (Madhya Pradesh), remnants of IM outfit based in Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Taiba which still has considerable capacity to carry out terror attacks.

"In addition 'lone wolf attacks' by radicalised ISIS sympathisers are also a possibility. Such attacks can only be prevented if the central and state intelligence agencies mobilise all resources and assets at their disposal and focus on collecting actionable intelligence," it said.

The advisory said it is also important to keep Quick Response Teams in readiness during this period to meet any eventuality. It is also necessary to conduct mock trials to check their efficiency and the status of equipments, weapons etc.

The bomb disposal squads should also be kept in readiness round-the-clock. It is also advised that crisis management SOPs may be re-visited to efficiently deal with any emergent situation.

The Home Ministry said this is a multi-disciplinary matter for which coordination is required between the police, local/ municipal administration, health department, transport department etc. "It is advised to conduct mock exercises in this regard," it said.


The Home Ministry requested all state governments and central agencies to take all necessary measures to prevent possible terror attacks saying steps mentioned above are only illustrative and not exhaustive.

"Further steps required may be taken as per local situation and it again reiterated that the heightened sense of security alertness may be continued at least till the end Of January 2015," it said.

Arif Majeed, the youth from Mumbai suburb Kalyan, was arrested after his return from the Islamic State. However, three of his friends, who went along with him to join ISIS, are yet to return.

Mehdi Mehboob Biswas, a Bangalore-based executive of ITC foods was arrested last week, for allegedly running a Twitter account supporting the ISIS.
The ISIS is carrying out reign of terror in parts of Iraq and Syria killings hundreds of people for last several months.

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