Andhra terror alert linked to arrested LeT operativeJune 5th, 2009 - 10:17 pm ICT by IANS
Hyderabad, June 5 (IANS) The Intelligence Bureau warning about a possible terror attack in Andhra Pradesh was based on information obtained from top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative Mohammed Umer Madani who was arrested in New Delhi Thursday, police sources have revealed.
Police sources said here Friday that the IB informed the police and state authorities that three terrorists in their 20s were heading towards Hyderabad with the intention of carrying out terror attacks at a public place or against some important people.
The warning was based on information culled from Madani, a close aide of LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, accused of masterminding the Mumbai terror attacks. Delhi Police said Madani, 50, headed the outfit’s activities in Nepal and was “talent spotting” Indians for terrorist activities for sending them for training in Pakistan.
Sources said that terrorists from Pakistan sneaked into Kashmir June 1 and were heading towards Hyderabad. They were identified as Ahmad Sharif Bhatti alias Abu Musab (23), Nazeer Ahmad alias Abu Jahangir (30) and Mohammed Ahmad alias Abu Zarqavi (21).
Police were also alerted that the trio could board a Hyderabad bound train. Madani told the Delhi Police that the three terrorist could reach Hyderabad by the Delhi-Hyderabad Dakshin Express.
Police late Thursday picked up about 15 suspects from Dakshin and the Delhi-Hyderabad AP Express but released them after questioning.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner B. Prasada Rao has advised people not to let out their houses to strangers. He also asked the caretakers of religious places not to allow any stranger to stay without verifying their antecedents.
“If people come across any fair coloured person or persons who speak Urdu with heavy Punjabi accent, they should immediately alert the police,” he said.
Meanwhile, state Home Minister P. Sabita Indra Reddy told people there was no need for panic.
Reddy told reporters that intelligence agencies keep on passing such information to police from time to time and the police take all necessary precautions.
She said the police launched checking operations in Hyderabad and other major towns after intelligence agencies informed that terrorists could carry out attacks in south India.
“However, there is no need for panic,” she said after a high-level review meeting with police officials.
Sabita Indra Reddy took over as the state’s first woman home minister last month.
Meanwhile, police remained on alert in Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Tirupati and other major towns and were conducting checking of vehicles, lodges and hotels.
Two people moving in suspicious circumstances were also picked up Friday near the historic Mecca Masjid in the old city here. The two, residents of Raichur in Karantaka, were found with batteries and wires in their bags. Police were questioning them.
The men were picked up during search operations in the mosque area. Police had made elaborate security arrangements for the Friday prayers at Mecca Masjid, where a bomb blast two years ago had claimed nine lives.