An Intelligence Bureau (IB) warning of a Lashkar-e-Taiba strike on Delhi ahead of Independence Day had the security establishment put the city on high alert Friday as the outfit's founder Hafiz Saeed resumed his now familiar rant against India at a massive Eid gathering in the Pakistani city of Lahore.
The alert, received by the Delhi Police on Thursday, reportedly reads, "Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan's Karachi has said it is important to spread 'jihad' to all corners of India... A Red Fort-type attack needs to be carried out again."
"The alert quotes a paragraph from a speech by Saeed last month in Karachi, where he openly threatened that his terrorists would carry out an attack in Delhi," a senior police officer said.
In December 2000, Lashkar men had sneaked into the 17th-century Red Fort and fired at guards, killing three persons, including a civilian.
Saeed heads the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawah, said to be a Lashkar front, and has been named by India as the mastermind of 26/11. Even with a $10-million American bounty on his head, he moves freely in Pakistan and addresses anti-India rallies.
On Friday too, hours before he led thousands in prayers at Lahore's Gaddafi stadium, Saeed tweeted, "Time is near when those oppressed in Kashmir, Palestine and Burma will celebrate Eid in the air of freedom."
"ALLAH will not waste your sacrifices, Ummah (community) will be glorified, Islam will be strengthened, that time is very near #kashmir," he tweeted from his account '@HafizSaeedJUD'.
ALLAH will not waste your Sacrifices, Ummah will be glorified, Islam will be strenghthened, that time is very near #kashmir— Hafiz Muhammad Saeed (@HafizSaeedJUD) August 9, 2013
In response to the IB alert, the Delhi Police have upped security in markets, railway and Metro stations, malls, government offices and important installations such as the Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Akshardham Temple.
Police stations are under orders to keep an eye on ammonium nitrate suppliers and informers have been deployed to check any movement of anti-national elements. The number of checkpoints on roads has gone up and there is added security at border points.
The special cell is also preparing sketches of 100-odd wanted mean suspected to be operatives of the Lashkar, Indian Mujahideen and other terror outfits. "Posters will be put up across the city so the public can identify them and help us nab them," the officer added.
New Delhi has repeatedly asked Islamabad to bring Saeed to justice for the 2008 Mumbai attacks that left 166 people dead but the latter claims it has no proof against him.
Since the 26/11 terrorists had taken the sea route to India, the coast guard said it had stepped up vigil along the country's west coast in the wake of the IB alert.
(Inputs from PTI)