The Centre, in two separate advisories issued by the Union home ministry and the Intelligence Bureau (IB), has warned all states and law enforcement agencies to stay alert after the Peshawar school attack and in the run-up to the visit of US President Barack Obama, sources said.
HT was first to report on December 5 that a high alert had been sounded in the Capital after credible intelligence inputs suggested the Lashkar-eTaiba (LeT) was planning a “sensational terror attack” in the run-up to Obama’s two-day visit during the Republic Day celebrations.
The IB’s Multi Agency Centre (MAC) has warned the Pakistani terror group may target two “unspecified hotels in the Capital and a highway between Delhi and Agra”, referring to information received from “sensitive channels”.
The MAC warning adds that LeT patron Hafiz Saeed has been quoted in the Pakistan media as saying that Indian intelligence agencies had hatched a conspiracy to carry out an attack here so they could blame Lashkar for it.
“We continuously receive inputs with regard to activities of Lashkar and Saeed and they are shared with all concerned agencies. The present warning has also been shared as part of the same process,” said a Union home ministry official, requesting anonymity.
According to home ministry sources, after the finalisation of Obama’s visit, Indian and US security agencies have been continuously sharing inputs and these are being duly verified.
The home ministry advisory, accessed by HT, says the terror threat can emanate from members of the outlawed SIMI outfit who escaped from Khandwa jail last year. Besides, it also lists remnants of another terror outfit, Indian Mujahideen, who are based in Pakistan and LeT as possible planners and attackers.
The advisory added that a radicalised Islamic State sympathiser may alone carry out an attack, a scenario described as ‘lone-wolf attack’ in security establishments across the world.
“Such attacks can be prevented if central and state intelligence agencies mobilise all resources and assets at their disposal and focus on collecting actionable intelligence,” says the advisory.
The home ministry has asked all law enforcement agencies to take measures towards safeguarding vulnerable places and installations, including schools.
“…public places with high footfall, public transport including railways and schools in particular. In the light of the attack on a school in Pakistan, there appears to be an immediate requirement to scale up security around schools and educational institutions considered vulnerable… mock drills may be carried out in all vulnerable locations,” says the advisory.
Human resource development minister Smriti Irani spoke to the home secretary on Wednesday to find out about the status of security for schools across the country, and was told that the Centre’s advisory has been received by the states.