Not any more

British intelligence agents sent to foil attacks on Commonwealth Games

In Canada on October 4, 2010 at 18:14

Britain, the United States and Australia have sent intelligence teams to India to help stop Pakistan-based groups launching a terrorist attack during the Commonwealth Games, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.

The three governments fear that another terrorist strike on India, following the 2008 attacks that killed 166 people in Mumbai, could provoke a new war between the nuclear-armed enemies.

Such a war would have grave implications for Pakistan’s co-operation in the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaida forces. Pakistan army offensives against Islamic militants in its tribal areas have been conditional on assurances of peace with India.

Last week Leon Panetta, the Central Intelligence Agency director, visited Islamabad. According to Indian sources, he warned President Asif Zardari and Gen Ashfaq Kayani, the chief of the army staff, that Washington expected their co-operation in preventing any terrorist attacks on the Games. He later visited New Delhi to brief his Indian counterparts.

According to Western and Indian security sources, Britain, the United States and Australia sent about two dozen senior intelligence agents to New Delhi last year as India’s preparations for the Games intensified. Britain’s contribution is understood to be part of growing security co-operation between the two countries. Officials believe India’s security agencies will return the assistance during London’s Olympic Games in 2012.

The focus of the three intelligence agencies has been on Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Pakistan-based terrorist group that sent 10 "fedayeen commandos" to wage war on Mumbai in 2008. They are also concerned by a LeT-linked group known as the Indian Mujahideen, which has carried out bombings in Indian cities.

In recent weeks, reports from Pakistan have suggested Brigade 313, an al-Qaida affiliate, was also planning attacks on the Commonwealth Games. Fears of a terrorist attack led to the withdrawal of some leading athletes, including Phillips Idowu, England’s world triple jump champion.

According to diplomats, the results of the three countries’ intelligence work in New Delhi was seen in May, when each warned of an imminent attack on the Indian capital. Each changed travel advice and told visitors to avoid government buildings and markets.

?The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for an attack on tankers carrying fuel to Afghanistan for U.S. and other Nato forces. It was the fourth attack since Pakistan closed a supply line in protest at a Nato helicopter strike that killed three Pakistan troops last week. Four people died in the latest skirmish.

© Copyright (c) The Daily Telegraph

So Hamilton..week two of the games maybe?



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