Assassination bid on Farooq, Omar foiled
28 October 2001
The Times of India
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
SRINAGAR: Security forces have foiled a plot by Muslim militants to assassinate Kashmir''s chief minister Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar, a newspaper reported on Monday.The separatists had planned to strike Farooq Abdullah''s motorcade from two directions with a car and a truck each carrying four suicide bombers, as the chief minister drove into Srinagar from the airport last Wednesday, the Excelsior newspaper said, quoting security sources.Informed of the plot, the chief minister rushed back to Srinagar from Jammu, where he was attending a wedding, and security forces conducted raids to find the militants, the report said.Police said about six Kashmiris had tried to become close to leaders of Abdullah''s National Conference party to arrange the attack. Authorities were also looking for a Pakistani and an Afghan involved in the plot believed to be hiding in New Delhi.The militants were all tied to the Pakistan-based al-Badar Mujahedin militant group, the report said.Militants had planned to kill Omar Abdullah, a prominent member of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee''s government, by a blast at his Delhi residence. Some of those behind the plot recently even secured an invitation for tea at the junior foreign minister''s home, which they inspected to plan the attack, Excelsior said.The militants had alternatively considered ambushing the junior minister as he rode his motorcycle in Srinagar, the report said, adding security forces had searched nearby houseboats and uncovered sophisticated weapons for the attack.The newspaper said the assassination bids were foiled when security forces arrested and interrogated two people. It was unclear how many people have been detained in connection with the plot.