R-Day: 9 blasts set off in northeast, no casualties reported
At least nine low-intensity bomb blasts were triggered by insurgent outfits in northeast India. No one was injured or killed in the explosions. Seven explosions occurred in Assam and two in Manipur, all in protest of Republic Day celebrations. Police sources have blamed the ULFA-I outfit for the blasts.
Innovation in terror techniques
Terror groups are becoming innovative in their attempt to strike any target of their choosing. Recently, Islamic State in Syria was the first to use animals to bomb enemy factions: they would strap birds/chickens with explosives to target government buildings. In India, domestic terror groups are reportedly not being able to recruit sufficient 'fidayeen' or 'suicide bombers' and may use tactics similar to IS.
Suicide vests on animals: Intelligence agencies warn
Anti-terror units in major cities like Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai have been warned by central intelligence agencies to remain on guard concerning terrorist cells which may use animals as 'suicide bombers'. These intelligence inputs are specifically in context of possible terror attacks during and close to Republic Day. Security agencies across the country have been asked to be extra vigilant in the coming days.
What are the intelligence inputs?
Intelligence agencies have explained that given the cold winter season, domestic pets like dogs, cats are seen wearing vests. These pets can be used to get explosives, camouflaged inside vests, inside venues and when close enough to sensitive targets, terrorists can remotely detonate explosives. Anti-terror teams have also been warned that it is a possibility that their dog squads maybe compromised.
The vulnerable targets
Animals with explosives strapped on or implanted inside them can be used in places with high footfall including train stations, airports across cities to carry out terror attacks. Security agencies deployed at airports have been asked to be particularly watchful of unmanned aerial-vehicles like paragliders, aero-models, drones, hot-air balloons etc. Intelligence inputs have also asked security to monitor passengers travelling with their pets.
Police chiefs swing into action
Given intelligence inputs, Delhi Police Chief Alok Verma, is closely monitoring security measures for Republic Day. He has issued a 42-point directive to ensure air-tight security: tabs are being kept on hotels, bars, motels to detect and track any suspicious person.
R-Day: More threats pointed out by intel agencies
Intelligence agencies have cited more possible threats to the scheduled Republic Day celebrations in Delhi. Sources said birds attracted to piles of garbage could pose a threat to aircraft. Agencies added that hot-air balloons and UAVs could also be used to target the Prime Minister and the other VIPs. However, sources added that there were no specific intelligence inputs about any of the threats.
Alert sounded in Jammu ahead of R-day
Authorities have sounded a high-alert in Jammu city, due to intelligence inputs about possible terror threats on Republic Day. Officials have asked schools to remain vigilant and ensure the safety of students. Authorities have also increased the number of check posts in the city as well as rural areas. Authorities also requested people to bear with the additional security and co-operate with police.
Ahead of Republic Day, capital on alert
The National Technical Research Organization has provided inputs about 7 terrorists from Gurdaspur dressed as Army officers, who are in Delhi to attack VIPs and the metro service ahead of Republic Day. CISF officials said the terrorists "may either carry out a group attack or a lone-wolf attack at different locations." Surveillance and security has been increased in all sensitive areas in the capital.