High alert sounded in Delhi after intel flashes Jaish threat

The national Capital has been put on the high alert after intelligence agencies were made aware of a message on a WhatsApp group, believed to be run by Jaish-e-Mohammed, which said that the militant outfit plans to strike sensitive locations in Delhi to avenge the killing of its commander in Jammu and Kashmir last month.

The Intelligence Bureau on Tuesday circulated a letter, dated November 13, asking the intelligence wings of security forces to maintain “high priority alert” and “activate intelligence” in light of the message.

Hindustan Times has a copy of the letter which reads, “according to a message circulated by one Pakistani national Ameer Hamza, using the mobile number [redacted], in WhatsApp group ‘Jesh Communication Centre’ that Jaish-e-Mohammed is planning to carry out terrorist attacks on security establishments in Delhi to avenge the killing of its commander Usman alias Huzaifa in Tral, Pulwama, on October 30.”

The letter adds that Hamza claims to be a part of JeM’s student wing, Talba al-Murabitoon, in Karachi, Pakistan.

Two Jaish-e-Mohammed operatives, one of them Usman, suspected to be the nephew of Jaish chief Maulana Masood Azhar, were killed in an encounter by security forces in south Kashmir’s Tral on October 30.

In light of the threat, a letter has been sent to various security establishments such as the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), National Security Guards, Railway Protection Force and Delhi Police to maintain a high alert at important installations in Delhi.

The advisory read, “It is requested to issue necessary guidelines and instructions to all unit commanders of Delhi-NCR based units/battalions to take all precautionary and preventive measures to avoid any untoward incident. Force personnel be kept on highest alert and intelligence machinery should be geared up for collection and exchange of useful advance information to prevent occurrence of any such incident.”

The advisory mentions that “constant liaison must be maintained” with the local police and other intelligence agencies for information sharing.

A senior officer from the Delhi Police said they are keeping a tight vigil. “Units concerned have been alerted and we are keeping a watch against any suspicious activity,” the officer, who did not wish to be named, said.

The Central Industrial Security Force, which guards the Indira Gandhi International Airport and the Delhi Metro, has also stepped up security. “We are especially focusing on the city-side. Vehicular terrorism is a major threat that we are concerned about. Additional barricades have been erected and anti-terror squads are on the alert,” a CISF officer told.