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Gujarat on alert following terror email warning

The Gujarat Police has sounded high alert in Ahmedabad and beefed up security arrangments in the city following an email containing encrypted message warning of a terror attack in the city. Sender of e-mail from Kashmir detained: PC

delhi Updated: Sep 09, 2011 18:25 IST
Mahesh Langa
Mahesh Langa
Hindustan Times

The Gujarat Police has sounded high alert in Ahmedabad and beefed up security arrangments in the city following an email containing encrypted message warning of a terror attack in the city.

The mail was received by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the Delhi high court blasts. The information has been shared with police authoeities in Gujarat.

"Central IB has shared the email with us that was received by the NIA. We have deciphered the coded message which implies that Ahmedabad is on the target of terrorists,” in charge DGP of Gujarat Chitaranjan Singh told HT.

Following the email, he said, the police in the city have intensified security arrangment and deployed state reserved police force at key points and sensitive areas.

“Last night, the city carried out a comprehensive checking at hotels, guests houses and other places in the city and also on the high ways nearby the city. Moreover, at all entry points, vehicles entering the city are being checked,” he added.

The e-mail, the third since the bomb blast outside the Delhi High Court on Wednesday, contained the warning in an encrypted numeric code. The NIA officials decoded the encryption, according to which Ahmedabad was the city on terrorists' target.

According to sources in the police, the e-mail received by the NIA was reportedely sent by an unknown organisation -- Kill Indians. It was sent from a Yahoo mail id, killindians. The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has asked Yahoo India for details on the source of the terror e-mail.

Following the Delhi high court blasts on Wednesday, Indian Mujahideen (IM) and unknown Harkat-ul-Jihad had claimed responsibility for the Delhi blast, which killed 13 people. While Harkat, the name of which resembles to that of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI), had sent mails to media houses hours after the blast, IM had claimed the attack sending mails to news channels on Thursday.

Of the two emails, one was traced to Jammu and Kashmir while the second was sent from West Bengal.

The first mail, purportedly sent by HuJI following the bombing on Wednesday, was initially traced to a cybercafe in a town near the Kashmiri city of Jammu. Sketch of suspected email sender from Kishtwar ready

After detaining two brothers who owned the cafe and an employee on Thursday for questioning, a police official said two college students -- identified as being in the cafe when the email was sent -- had also been taken into custody.

"The owners have told interrogators that they don't keep a record of the visitors and that students were the main customers at the cafe," the official said.

The United States describes HuJI as a terrorist group with links to al-Qaeda, and it has been accused of carrying out attacks in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

But the group has not been active in Muslim-majority Kashmir for years.

Federal investigators have yet to confirm whether the email was indeed from HuJI. Another claim of responsibility, apparently from a home-grown militant outfit called Indian Mujahideen, was sent to media on Thursday.

Wednesday's powerful blast ripped through a crowd of litigants queuing to enter the court complex in the heart of the Indian capital. Eleven people were killed on the spot, and two have since died in hospital from their injuries.

It was the first major attack on Indian soil since triple blasts in Mumbai on July 13 killed 26 people. It has still not been established who carried out those bombings.

The Delhi High Court had been targeted four months ago, when a low-intensity bomb exploded in the parking lot, causing no casualties and only minimal damage.

The probe into Wednesday's bombing is being run by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), a body set up in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

First Published: Sep 09, 2011 12:27 IST