November 2016 News

Attack To Avenge Afzal Hanging,' Reads Urdu Note Found On Killed Terrorist

30 November 2016
Times of India
Bharti Jain

New Delhi: Recoveries from the six suicide attackers killed in Nagrota encounter include a note written in Urdu saying that the attack was to avenge the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack accused Afzal Guru, in what points to the possible involvement of Jaish-e-Mohammad's 'Afzal Guru Squad'. The squad is suspected to have carried out the Pathankot terror attack as well, having left a similar note behind in the car used to access the airbase. 'The note prima facie points to the involvement of Jaish, subject to further investigation,' said a senior intelligence functionary. Intelligence agencies believe that the six attackers who targeted the Nagrota Army camp crossed over from Pakistan the night before the attack. Nagrota is barely 40 km from the international border, which is manned by the BSF. The terrorists cut the barbed perimeter wire to enter the camp undetected. A senior intelligence officer said just as in the Uri attack, the terrorists crossed the border hours prior to the attack to minimise chances of detection-interception. 'It is surely a worrying trend as border vigil is at a high in the wake of the surgical strikes. Also, the forces are stationed in good numbers in all vulnerable areas close to the borders. If the terrorists still managed to infiltrate and gain access inside an Army installation, it points to need for a higher border vigil as well as revamp of perimeter security at the security camps,' said a top functionary of the security establishment. According to sources, intelligence inputs point to the presence of around 200-300 terrorists close to the launching pads near the IB-LoC at any given time since the surgical strikes, waiting for an opportunity to cross over. 'The strategy of the fidayeen appears to be to hit the nearest security installation after a successful infiltration attempt,' said an officer. 'There is a clear need to step up border vigil as it is crucial to preventing attacks on security and Army installations, which in case of Uri cost 18 lives and seven in Nagrota. Our assessment says that infiltration, which is double of levels seen last year, will remain high in the winter as well, given the current scenario of hostilities with Pakistan,' according to the officer. Yet another thing that is worrying the security establishment is the ease with which terrorists could breach the perimeter at Pathankot, Uri as well as Nagrota. In Nagrota, they cut the barbed wire along the rear boundary of the camp to get in undetected. 'This points to gaps in deployment along the perimeter,' said an intelligence functionary. Intelligence agencies feel that though audit of security camps held in the wake of Pathankot attack earlier this year had identified gaps, necessary action on the ground to fill these gaps has been rather slow. 'Often, there are permissions and procedures involved in getting the additional security measures in place at the camps. This may be responsible for slow implementation of the recommendations made in the security audit,' said an officer.

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