Intelligence inputs that Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashker-e-Taiba has acquired as high as 50 para-gliding equipments for potential use to launch suicide attacks prompting a security alert in India ahead of the Republic Day appears to be a blooper.
The Union Home Ministry has begun a discreet probe into the basis for the inputs with official sources today saying it has now emerged that only three para gliding equipments were procured from China. According to intelligence inputs ahead of the R-Day, LeT is believed to have procured 50 such equipments from Europe sending security personnel into a tizzy.
Official sources said the inquiry will focus on how the quantum of acquisition was apparently inflated irrespective of their source.
Senior officials in the Home ministry claimed that they had been briefed by the officials of the security agencies, who washed their hands off about the possibility of the para gliders being used to carry out terror strikes, sources said.
While giving information about LeT procuring the para-gliding equipment, the intelligence inputs had suggested that this might be used by the terror group for training exercises for its cadres to launch terror strikes.
The intelligence agencies while assessing the input had opined that carrying out an attack using para-gliders would require rigorous training and a high level of expertise, they said.
The intelligence input had warned that the innocuous sporting gear could become a lethal weapon in the hands of banned LeT, which carried out the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
The para-glider, a specially designed parachute attached to the body of a person which gets a lift when air from the opposite direction slams it, could be launched from an elevated surface like a hillock or sky-scraper.