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HindustanTimes Tue,30 Sep 2014

Fallout fear: India on alert over possible Lashkar strike

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 22, 2012
First Published: 01:35 IST(22/11/2012) | Last Updated: 01:37 IST(22/11/2012)

India requested greater security for its missions in Pakistan and the home ministry directed all states to move to a higher state of alert following Ajmal Kasab's execution on Wednesday.

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These moves reflected concerns that the Lashkar-e-Taiba or other militant groups would strike Indian targets following the terrorist's death.

Former Indian intelligence officer B Raman, in a blog post, wrote that Lashkar and its affiliates "would want a quick retaliation". Attacks in most parts of India would require a period preparation.

Therefore, he warned, "quick retaliation might be possible in J&K and in Afghanistan" where militant networks remained in place. He recommended that possible targets in these places "should receive the highest priority" when it came to security.

So far, say Indian officials, New Delhi has not felt it necessary to increase security for its facilities in Afghanistan.

Terrorism expert Ajai Sahni felt the terrorist groups' response would be more circumspect. Kasab's execution has been on the cards for a long time, he noted, so Lashkar could hardly be surprised.

"Lashkar would prefer to portray Kasab as a martyr and use his death to assist in recruitment," he said. He pointed out that Islamicist militant groups expect their fighters to die in action.  

An LeT commander in Pakistan, speaking to Reuters, called Kasab a hero and an inspiration. "To die like Kasab is the dream of every fighter," he said.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban, a group that has rhetorically denounced India but has never actually carried out an attack on Indian targets, said only that it was "a big loss that a Muslim has been hanged on Indian soil."


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