Days before Peshawar carnage, US got tip-off

American Embassy School in Delhi alerted by US missions

Days before Peshawar carnage, US got tip-off

The United States’ intelligence agencies received tip-off about possible terrorist attacks on teachers and students around the world, at least several weeks before the carnage took place at the Army Public School at Peshawar in Pakistan.

The American Embassy School in New Delhi is among several international schools around the world, which were alerted by the US missions about possibility of terrorist attacks on educational institutions.

Deccan Herald has learnt that the American Embassy School (AES) in New Delhi had been put on alert by November 20, at least 25 days before the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan militants had raided the Army Public School in Peshawar and killed 148 people – mostly students and teachers.

The American Embassy in New Delhi alerted the AES authorities after the tip-off about the terrorists’ plan to target schools was received and processed by the US intelligence agencies.

The AES is located on Chandragupta Marg adjacent to the US Embassy in New Delhi. The sprawling school has about 1,500 students from nursery to 12th grade and about 37 per cent of them are Americans, while the rest are nationals of other countries, including a few from India. Most of the students are children of employees of the US and other countries’ embassies and high commissions, local units of the international organisations, global non-governmental organisations and executives of multinational companies.

“There is evidence and information coming from our security sources with the (US) Embassy in (New Delhi) (suggesting) that terrorist groups have decided to target international teachers globally,” the AES director Paul B Chamelik told a meeting of the school’s Board of Governors on November 20 last.

The AES authorities were told the terrorists were planning to attack schools in order to disrupt education as such strikes would affect not only children and in turn their parents and families, but would also hit the economy. The minutes of the meeting quoted Chamelik saying that the school authorities were in touch with the US Embassy and would continue “doing the vigilance necessary to help keep” the students, teachers and others “safe”.

The meeting was attended by senior US diplomat Craig L Cloud, who is a representative of the American Ambassador in New Delhi to the AES Board of Governors.

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