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The Union home ministry has decided to issue a prior high-security alert to every state where BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is due to address a rally, as the chief minister of Gujarat faces multiple threats from pan-Islamic and Sikh fundamentalist terrorist groups.
Modi faces threats from the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Kashmiri terrorist groups like the Hizbul Mujahideen, the Indian Mujahideen (IM) and ex-cadres of the Students Islamic Movement of India (Simi). He is under the maximum risk among all VVIP Indian politicians, say top UP police and internal security establishment sources.
The red alert was issued to the police in Uttar Pradesh (UP) on January 21, two days before the Gorakhpur rally, with terrorist spotters with former links to indigenous terror groups, and sniper shooters mingling with the crowd.
Hyder Ali alias Abdulla alias Shaqoor, a resident of Aurangabad in Bihar, was out to target Modi and is said to have travelled from Lucknow to Gorakhpur on January 11, according to the January 21 terror alert accessed by HT.
Hyder, an IM terrorist, is a prime accused in the October 27 blasts at Modi’s rally in Patna, along with the Bodh-Gaya-blast-accused Tahseem Akhtar alias Monu. The Gujarat chief minister is under threat from both Hyder Ali and Akhtar .
“IM cadres arrested after Patna blast from Ranchi confirm that Hyder has conducted reconnaissance of Kanpur before Modi’s October 19 rally. It was only after he found security arrangements were tight that the IM decided to target the Patna rally, where the arrangements were found to be lax,” said a senior UP official.
A threat letter was received in a Gorakhpur mosque on January 16, which pushed the UP anti-terror squad into action to prevent any threat to Modi’s rally.
According to the alert, Abu Faisal alias Doctor, the ex-SIMI man who escaped Khandwa jail on October 1 with five others and was re-captured on December 24, was in touch with Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Taliban to target Modi. The five fugitives are: Mohammed Aslam Khan, Sheikh Mehboob, Mohd Aijazuddin, Zakir and Amzad Khan.
The alert says that while Pakistani ISI was pushing LeT leader Hafiz Saeed to target Modi, Sikh terrorists like Lakhbir Singh Rode of the banned International Sikh Youth Federation and Jagtar Singh Tara of the Khalistan Tiger Force were asked by the ISI in November 2013 to go for the Gujarat CM.
“Given that the Lok Sabha elections are round the corner, the government can’t afford to take a chance with Modi’s security as he is in the cross-hairs of major terrorists group. Both arrested IM key operative Yasin Bhatkal and his colleague Asadullah Akhtar aka Haddi have confirmed the threat to Modi,” said a senior home ministry official.