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India terror threat hypothetical: US

india Updated: Aug 12, 2006 15:02 IST

The US alert on the possibility of terror strikes in India by Al-Qaeda was a general warning rather than one based on 'definitive information'.

The 'Warden Message' of warning put out by the US embassy in New Delhi spoke in "somewhat more hypothetical terms in saying 'possibly including' members of Al-Qaeda. So it's not definitive information that is there and we certainly weren't trying to convey that," State Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey said on Friday.

But the US is certainly concerned in general about activities not only of indigenous terrorist groups but of the possibility of those linked, or in any way associated, with Al-Qaeda, he added.

"Certainly, again we had information that came to our attention and it came to the attention of the Indian Government that led us to be concerned about this possibility occurring again and that's why we were alerting Americans about it," Casey said.

US missions abroad put out a 'Warden Message' to the American community whenever they have any kind of information about a potential threat, whether that's a terrorist action or of other kinds of violence or potential concerns to American citizens, he noted.

As there have been previous attacks in India around this time of year in the past coupled with Mumbai train bombings recently, there were added concerns this time.

Asked if this alert could be raised to the level of a 'Travel Warning', Casey said that he did not have anything to announce. "Obviously, we'll evaluate the information that we have and see if anything more than this is required."

At his separate daily briefing, White House spokesman Tony Snow referred to recent incidents of terrorism in India, Pakistan and Bali to deny allegations that President George Bush was politicising the foiled plot to blow up US bound planes.

Bush had told the US Congress days after the September 11, 2001 attack that there were 50 or 60 nations in which terror organisations had already set down roots, he said.

"And we have begun to see some of the grim harvest of that in India, in Pakistan, in Bali. You know the litany, it goes on around the world. And, obviously, there was an attempt now to take it over the high seas as well," Snow said.

"So this is an absolute commitment on the part of this administration not only to win the war on terror, but also to look forward to a very positive end state," he added.

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