ISIS, al-Qaeda may join hands to launch ‘multi-city, multiple’ attacks on India
MANESAR (Haryana): NSG, the country’s elite
counter-terror force, on Thursday warned that global terror outfits like the
dreaded ISIS and al-Qaeda could join hands and launch a “multi-city multiple
attack” on India.
The warning of a combined terror attack was sounded by
National Security Guards (NSG) Director General JN Choudhury, who also called
the 2008 Mumbai carnage that killed 166 people as just a “curtain raiser”.
The NSG at the same time said it was fully prepared
and will respond to whatever required and whenever required.
The NSG warning came a day after a top Army officer
said that instances of waving of ISIS flags in Kashmir was a matter of concern
and “deserves the highest attention of the security agencies” so that the youth
in the Valley are prevented from being lured into the ranks of the jihadist
Choudhury said “it is more than a possibility” now
that the global terror groups may find “allies” in similar organisations like
Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Indian Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba
which already have a presence and activity in India.
“Now that they (international terror outfits like
al-Qaeda) have declared their intention of attacking India, they will obviously
align with known groups that we have (active in the country). Whether it is
Laskhar (Lashkar-e-Toiba), Jaish (Jaish-e-Mohammad), Harkat
(Harkat-ul-Mujahideen) or IM (Indian Mujahideen).
“So the apprehension we have is that if they do have a
combined kind of strategy or combined operations, we have to prepared and be alert
if a combined (terrorist) group takes action. Then there is a threat and
possibility of a multi-city multiple attack. That is what we are preparing for
and hence we are also working with anti-terrorist forces and state police
forces (in this context),” the head of the ‘black cat’ commandos told reporters
He was speaking on the sidelines of the 30th Raising
Day of the force that was set up in 1984 for special combat tasks.
Choudhury said he remembers from his earlier stint in
the Intelligence Bureau that al-Qaeda operatives had done a “reconnisance of
Goa, Bangalore and Amritsar” about a decade ago.
“This (recce of vulnerable spots in India) is not a
new thing for al-Qaeda,” the NSG chief said, adding they looked at Goa as it
was visited by a number of foreign and domestic tourists.
Lt Gen Subrata Saha, General Officer Commanding of the
Army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps, while noting that the ability of the Islamic
State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to attract a large number of volunteers was a
cause of worry, said that concerted efforts have to be made to secure the
“right to prosperity” of the youth in the Valley if they were to be kept away
from the path of terror.
“The emergence of the ISIS flags (during protests)
merits concern and deserves the highest attention of the security agencies to
prevent the youth of Kashmir from getting lured (into ISIS),” Saha told PTI in
Srinagar on Wednesday.
“The ability of ISIS to attract large number of
volunteers is a matter of concern. There are believed to be 10,000 to 15,000
volunteers at present fighting for ISIS. The fanaticism shown by the fighters
is also a cause,” he added.