The National Investigative Agency (NIA) in India is warning police in Delhi, Punjab, and Assam to be on the lookout for a Pakistani soldier-turned-terrorist on the loose in India.
The agency said Mohammad Khurshid Alam, also known as Jahangir, snuck into India in Punjab on February 26 with six other terrorists. Alam also “worked as a recruiter, coordinator and guide of Jehadi elements in Assam.”
“The intention of this group is to kill citizens in Delhi in hotels and hospitals on or before Holi,” wrote the agencies, referring to the Hindu festival of colors.
The NIA received a phone call from Nigeria tipping them off to Alam’s plans. The border has a fence in Punjab, but “there are gaps in fencing in the Pathankot sector due to the Ravi river entering Pakistan from India through the district.”
Alam spent time at a madrasa (educational institute) in Assam in September 2015. From Times of India:
The ex-Pakistan armyman had stayed in the madrasa for five days and thereafter left for Chirang district, bordering Bhutan.
Alam had used another madrasa in Dhubri district in Assam as his base and used to visit other parts of the state, it said.
In Dhubri, a teacher of the madrasa provided all required logistical support to Alam, the communication added.
Hindus in India celebrate Holi “on the day after the full moon in the Hindu month of Phalguna (early March).” They originally celebrated Holi to herald in the arrival of spring, which is why people throw dyes and liquids with bright colors at each other.
In January, Pakistani-based jihadists attacked the Pathankot air force base. The four terrorists killed two commanders and injured many more in a five-hour gun battle. The NIA believes the four men “spent up to 24 hours resting inside a disused Military Engineer Services shed.” This led them to believe they had help from the inside.
“From the evidence we’ve gathered it’s pretty clear that the men broke open the lock on one of the MES buildings in a junkyard where disused equipment was stored, and made themselves at home,” explained one official.
A terrorist attack in Punjab in July 2015 killed seven people. Witnesses said “[T]hree heavily-armed terrorists wearing army fatigues, believed to have come from Pakistan, sprayed bullets on a bus and stormed a police station in Dinanagar.” Officials remained in a gun battle with the terrorists for over 12 hours.
“The terrorists were carrying sophisticated weapons. We have recovered ‘Made in China’ grenades from them. They were wearing combat fatigues,” stated Director General of Punjab Police Sumedh Singh Saini.