JeM plans even bigger strike
Emboldened by its success in the Kashmir suicide bombing, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) plans to carry out another guerrilla attack of a much bigger magnitude, intelligence intercepts of conversations on February 16-17 between JeM leadership in Pakistan and its terrorists in Kashmir have revealed.
As per the intercepts, exclusively accessed by TOI, Jaish terrorists resolved to execute another bombing to cause massive casualty to Indian security forces. On Wednesday, a top intelligence official said various inputs from different quarters indicated that there could be a major attack either in Jammu or outside J&K.
Quoting intel sources, TOI had reported on February 19 that a 21-member JeM squad, including three suicide bombers, had infiltrated into Kashmir in December last year to launch three attacks, including two outside the valley.
The intercepts picked up by the agencies also revealed that JeM is to release the video of the preparations of the Pulwama suicide bombing preparations. Intelligence analysts said the release of the video is intended to glorify 20-year-old Adil Ahmad Dar, who rammed his explosive-laden Maruti Eeco van into one of the buses of the 78-vehicle CRPF convoy, killing 40 jawans on February 14. The video could help Jaish recruit more gullible and radicalised Kashmiri youth into suicide bombing missions, an analyst said.
JeM has also claimed that it was the terror group's former operational commander Mohammad Waqas Dar who had planted the IED at Nowshera in Rajouri last week in which Army Major Chitresh Bisht was killed.
However, police officials said the entire communication among Jaish terrorists seemed to be a "psychological operation" targeted at terrorising India. “But since we have intercepted the communication, we cannot ignore it. We are on high alert and trying to corroborate the threats through other means too,” a senior police officer said.
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi resumed his attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a stinging tweet a week after the terror attack.
"The brave are martyred. Their families struggle. Forty jawans give their lives but are denied the status of "Shaheed (martyr)". While this man has never given and only taken. He's gifted 30,000 crore of their money and will live happily ever after. Welcome to Modi's NEW INDIA," tweeted the Congress president, sharing an NDTV story on the Supreme Court ordering industrialist Anil Ambani to repay dues to Ericsson or face jail.
After the terror attack, Rahul Gandhi, in a press conference along with former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, had said that he and his party would support the government and not get into any other discussion for the next few days.
"I will support the government and jawans in this difficult time," said Rahul Gandhi, refusing to respond to questions on political controversies.
But after a week's hiatus, both the Congress and its chief have picked up from where they left. The renewed attacks signal a change in stance after BJP leaders including party president Amit Shah took digs at the Congress after the attack.
Amit Shah said at a rally in Assam that the soldiers' sacrifice "will not go waste as it is a BJP government in power, not Congress".
Rahul Gandhi's tweet refers to his often-repeated allegation that the government and PM Modi settled for an overpriced deal for 36 Rafale jets from France's Dassault to help Anil Ambani's inexperienced defence firm bag an offset contract.