Certain intercepts received by the Indian Intelligence agencies suggesting an imminent attack on police offices, shopping malls or places of worship in Hyderabad by Al-Qaeda, has led the top brass to beef up security across the city, on a day when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and a host of VVIPs were in Puttaparthi.
This is perhaps the first time that the alert specifically mentioned Al-Qaeda as the organisation which could carry out the attack, indicating that Hyderabad is very much on the radar of world’s most dreaded Islamist militant organisation.
Top sources told Express that certain intercepts received by the Intelligence Bureau recently suggested that Andhra Pradesh, particularly Hyderabad, Gujarat and Maharashtra may be targeted by the Al-Qaeda and the same was passed on to the Intelligence wings of these states.
According to an alert issued by the state Intelligence wing, based on the inputs passed on by the IB, the possible targets include the offices of the DGP, Intelligence, Task Force, shopping malls, places of worship, among other places.
Following this, the officials have been directed to beef up security at all places and step up surveillance immediately.
The intercepts, sources said, indicate that the terrorists could try to storm the places with an explosive-laden vehicle or use a suicide bomber.
Describing it as a ‘serious matter’ sources say that the very fact that the alert specifically mentions Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra indicates that the alert was not ‘general.’
Sources say that the alert has come from IB based on certain intercepts received from across the borders sometime ago.
Following this, visitors are being screened thoroughly at all police offices while instructions were issued to shopping malls, particularly in Begumpet, Secunderabad, Abids and other areas to tighten security. Frisking and checking operations, which were stopped for a while now, are being renewed in view of the alert.
Hyderabad has already witnessed a sensational terror attack on the Task Force office in 2005 after a suicide bomber walked into the office and blew himself up. In 2004, fundamentalists belonging to various groups tried to storm the DGP office in protest against the arrest of Moulana Naseeruddin, accused in the killing of former Gujarat home minister Haren Pandya. Express Buzz