Mumbai Police releases sketches of four Lashkar terrorists

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Mumbai, Dec. 24 (ANI): Mumbai Police has released the sketches of four Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT) suspects, who have reportedly sneaked into the city to carry out "violent" attacks with the aim of causing "destruction".

Issuing an advisory to citizens to remain alert, Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy told a news conference late on Thursday night that: "The four were identified as Abdul Kareem Moosa, Noor Abu Ilahi, Walid Jinnah and Mahfooz Alam. The four recently sneaked into the city to carry out extremely dangerous activity."

Roy also released a sketch of Jinnah.

The strikes were being planned in connection with possibly the upcoming Christmas and New Year's festivities, he added.

Roy said he had no information on the nationalities of the four persons.

On Tuesday, the Centre sounded a terror alert for Mumbai and Ahmedabad following specific Intelligence inputs that the LeT teams may have entered the two western cities to carry out strikes.

The four persons are in the age group of 20 to 30 years, Roy said.

"The four persons are planning violent attacks that is going to cause destruction," Roy warned.

The information of the plans by the terrorists are "fairly specific", Roy said, adding "We believe the threat is serious."

Roy also said Mumbai police has formed Special cells in a bid to "neutralise" the four terrorists. He did not want to speculate whether more than four LeT men have entered the metropolis which witnessed the country's worst ever terror strike in November 2008 killing 166 people.

The police have set up dedicated phone number--02222633333--to enable the people pass on information about the militants and in the event of an emergency.

Police were taking utmost precautions and massive deployment of police have been made at all sensitive locations, worship places and crowded places to ensure safety of the citizens, Roy said.

Several police teams have been formed to track the four who are believed in aged between 20 to 30 years, police sources said.

Asked if it was the same input given by Central agencies two days back, Roy said, "We are not in a position to reveal our sources."

Asked if security agencies lost track of the four due to which they had to issue advisory and release the photo, Roy replied, "We have not lost their track. But we want to keep the citizens alert as well." He refused to divulge as to how the LeT men entered the city.

Security forces launched "house-to-house" searches in some specific areas in Mumbai, sources said.

A three dimensional security apparatus-land, air and water-has been put in place, particularly around the Taj Mahal Hotel, one of the sites of the 26/11 carnage.

Roads near the iconic Taj remained closed from today for 15 days and the area is under complete surveillance.

Similar security arrangement was in place near Taj during the visit of US President Barack Obama, who stayed in the plush hotel, in early November.

Parking on the roads around Taj has been banned for the same period and the cars of guests of Taj and residents around the hotel would be allowed but only after thorough checking.

The residents would be soon provided with security stickers for their cars to avoid inconvenience.

Colaba area, particularly the places, including the Gateway of India, where large crowds are expected during the festivities, would be under complete surveillance through high resolution CCTVs.

The sea-front up to five nautical miles was being guarded round the clock by police armed with advanced boats and sophisticated equipment, police said.

Police are also co-ordinating with Navy and Coast Guard officials who are conducting air surveillance. (ANI with inputs)

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