Ulfa-Jehadi to hijack plane, airports under red alert

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Guwahati, Jan 4: All airports and vital installations in northeast came under high alert after intelligence inputs warn of a possible hijack plan of an aircraft from the region.

Inteligence sources said the proscribed ULFA, with active support from jehadi outfits, was looking opportunities to hijack plane from an airport in the northeast. The sources here today confirmed the reports of hijack threat perception existed and more than one militant group could be involved in the conspiracy.

However, the sources ruled out involvement of al-Qaeda or other Taliban-sponsored militant groups in the hijack plans.

The Home ministry sources added the hijack would be carried out by jehadi groups, with ULFA also a part of the conspiracy, more by virtue of it being the most dreaded outfit in the region rather than its 'hijacking capabilities'.

''The ULFA cannot pull off a hijack on its own and the jehadis will collaborate with it in this plan,'' the home ministry sources, peferred to be anonimity, added.

The ULFA is known to have close links with the jehadi outfits, with its top leaders, including 'c-in-c' Paresh Barua and 'chairman' Arabinda Rajkhowa, believed to be living in Bangladesh.

The ULFA leaders are suspected to be running huge business empires in the neighbouring country and maintain close links with the jehadi outfits in that country.

Though the ULFA has denied its jehadi links, state intelligence had time and proved the outfits jehadi links.

The presence of jehadis in the region has also been focussed in various government as well as non-government watch-dogs' reports using NE as a 'transit' point to enter the country.

The militants are suspected to enter the country through Assam, acquire false passport and resident documents and move to other parts to carry out subversive activities.

All airports across the region have been on red alert and highest security measures are been employed to ensure that no sabotage plans are carried out.

The CISF officials said Quick Reaction Teams (QRT) deployed at the airports have been activated, while Bomb Disposal Squads and sniffer dogs pressed into service. Entry of visitors to the airports had been banned and 100 per cent manual checking of cabin baggage in flights was on, even as surveillance was stepped up at aerodrome parking lots and ticket counters, they said.

Though the sources refused to divulge the source of the hijack plan information, it is suspected that the recently arrested or surrendered militants might have spilled the beans.

The initial reports were the ULFA was planning to hijack a plane to barter the release of its jailed leaders could have a wider dimension if the jehadi outfits are involved in a bigger way in the conspiracy.

No travelling advisory has been sounded yet, the sources added.


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