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Israel warns of terror in Mumbai, issues travel advisory
Published on 19 Sep. 2009 12:00 AM IST
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Days after the US State Department issued a travel advisory, Israel has asked its citizens to be vigilant during their stay in India as it warned of more terror attacks, planned by the militants responsible for the Nov 26 Mumbai terror spree, against Western and Israeli tourists. Israel’s counterterrorism unit said Thursday night that the group that launched the Mumbai attacks was planning to launch a wave of terror attacks in India, specially areas with a large concentration of Western and Israeli tourists. A statement issued by the bureau said the threat was “concrete and very high”. Indian officials are in touch with Israeli authorities regarding an intelligence tip-off about militants, with links to Al Qaeda and Pakistani groups, planning to attack India this year during the festival season. India has blamed the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, an outlawed outfit that has morphed into Jamaat-ud-Dawa, for the Mumbai attacks. An Israeli diplomat here clarified that the advisory is not meant to deter Israelis from travelling to India, but is more in the nature of precaution asking Israeli tourists to be more vigilant during their stay in the country. “The advisory has been issued in view of the high holiday season that begins from Jewish New Year and goes on for a few weeks. There is a greater danger of terrorist threats in this period,” the diplomat told IANS Friday. It’s a request for Israeli travellers to be more alert in India and avoid places with large gatherings, he said. India is a popular destination for young Israelis who come here after completing compulsory military training. Around 20,000-30,000 Israelis visit India every year. During the three-day terror attacks in Mumbai in November last year, militants targeted two luxury hotels, a railway station, a hip cafe popular with Western tourists and a Jewish centre run by the New York-based orthodox Lubavitch organisation, killing 170 people. Nine Israelis and six Americans were among those killed. Last week, the US issued a terror alert and a travel advisory ahead of the festival season of Eid, Dusshera and Diwali. The US State Department early this month advised its nationals to be cautious and maintain a low profile during their visit to the country during this period.

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