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Commonwealth Games were under shadow of terror: Government

india Updated: Oct 16, 2010 01:48 IST
Aloke Tikku
Aloke Tikku
Hindustan Times
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The Al Qaeda-Lashkar-e-Tayyeba combine had armed terrorists to blow their way into a Commonwealth Games venue for a 26/11 Mumbai-style attack, another set had been trained to use paragliders to mount an aerial attack and hackers from around the world — particularly China — made hundreds of attempts to bring down the Games websites.

The Commonwealth Games went off peacefully, without a major glitch. But it wasn’t easy.

"At times, it was worrying," said a senior government source entrusted with overseeing security arrangements through the CWG in real and virtual world.

Like this Sunday, when an unnamed foreign intelligence agency told their Indian counterpart Al Qaeda-LeT terrorists were on their way to Delhi through Nepal and Middle East to attack Games venues and a prominent hotel used by guests on October 12 or 13.

"It was a very detailed report... and specific," an intelligence officer said.

Helicopters and Unarmed Aerial Vehicles had been deployed in the skies, anti-aircraft guns on rooftops. On the ground were nearly one lakh police personnel including army and National Security Guard commandos. Already, intelligence agencies had come across inputs warning the LeT could use paragliders to launch attacks.

In the virtual world, hackers were badgering Games-related websites every day but were prevented from bringing down the sites by IT security experts.

"The Games would have collapsed if they had succeeded… right from the timing system to the accreditation system used to give access, it was all online,” a government official said.