Thursday, December 04, 2008

High Alert In India: UPDATE: Gunfight At New Delhi Airport?

India has issued warnings alerting people to the possibility of terrorists attempting to hijack aircraft in the country. That follows revelations that the Indian government failed to heed warnings about the Pakistani ISI training Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists to infiltrate by sea.

Three airports in particular are on high alert.
Indian authorities have put on high alert airports in the capital, New Delhi, the southeastern coastal city of Chennai and the southern city of Bangalore. The move followed a threat of possible attacks by militants who claimed last week's deadly assault on the Indian financial capital, Mumbai.

The previously unknown Deccan Mujahadeen group which claimed responsibility for last week's terrorist attacks on Mumbai reportedly threatened to attack the three airports this week between Wednesday and Sunday.

The threat was made in an e-mail sent form Saudi Arabia and received by Indira Gandhi Airport officials in New Delhi, news reports said.

"We are now on a high state of alert," airport spokesman Arun Arora, was quoted as saying by the media.

Indian officials were cited as saying there had been warnings of possible attacks using hijacked airlines, and Indian Air Force sources said fighter jets had also been put on stand-by.
Of course, LeT claims that they weren't behind the attacks and that they couldn't possibly be involved because they don't target civilians.
"We didn't do it. Lashkar doesn't believe in targeting civilians. It is not the first time India has blamed Pakistan. It was the intelligence failure that led to Mumbai attacks," LeT founder said in the interview.

Hafiz further added that India is using Pakistan as a punching bag to cover up its own failures and is not interested in a proper probe into the attacks.
It was the terrorists that led to the Mumbai attacks, and the intel failures only prevented the capture of those responsible for plotting mass carnage.

Pakistan continues to struggle against the Islamists in the frontier provinces, which see near daily attacks and civilian deaths at the hands of terrorists. Curiously, among those injured in the latest violence was a deputy of Baitullah Mehsud in an IED incident. The ongoing violence threatens NATO's supply lines in to Afghanistan, which is why Pakistan's handling of the Islamist threat is crucial.

It's laughable that LeT's leader can claim that they don't target civilians, when it's part and parcel of their modus operandi to murder civilians in suicide bombing attacks. Sure, they attack military and security forces with alarming regularity, but another one of their tactics involves rounding up civilians and massacring them.

Also important to keep in mind is LeT's ties to al Qaeda; Abu Zubaydah was captured in a LeT safe house in Pakistan, and there are repeated reports suggesting operational assistance and ties between the two terror groups.

There was good reason for those emergency alerts to be issued. Terrorists apparently opened fire at the international terminal at the New Delhi airport and security has killed six terrorists.
The British Broadcasting Corp. is reporting that six gunmen have been shot and killed by Indian security forces at New Delhi's main international airport.

The report on the BBC Web site Thursday was attributed to airport officials.

Airports in India went on high alert Thursday following fresh warnings of attacks as officials said India suspects two senior leaders of a banned Pakistani militant group orchestrated last week's deadly siege in Mumbai.
Now, there's further concern that not all the explosives used by the terrorists in the weekend attacks have been accounted for.

The BBC is now reporting that there were sharp sounds reported, but no gunfire. Everyone is clearly on edge, but how noises were reported to six people shot remains a mystery.

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