Yesterday, the Western Naval command headquarters had alerted the city police about the threat of a bomb attack on the US consulate in Mumbai on July 21. The intelligence was shared with reference to an anonymous letter received by the consulate-general and American Centre in Kolkata, threatening to attack both places.
A copy of the single-page letter was passed on by Sanjay Kumar, command intelligence officer, western naval command. The letter has ‘Al-Jihad’ written on top, much like a logo or the name of an organization. It said US consulate officials are the targets and told the Americans to vacate the consulates. It also said, “We shall carry out blasts in public places and railway stations of Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai in July this year.”
It was unclear when the US consulate received the letter and why July 21 was chosen. Interestingly, Al-Jihad is not known to intelligence agencies but they are taking the threat seriously as terror outfits are known to hide under various names. The input has been shared with the Intelligence Bureau headquarters and its wings in Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bangalore and Mumbai.
While Al Jihad is not known to the Indian Intelligence agencies, it is not an unknown terror organization. Al Jihad have been extremely active in Egypt, Sudan and Albania, many attribute the assassination attempts of several leaders in Egypt to this terror outfit. Sometime around 2001, Al Jihad had forged an alliance with Al Qaeda and formed a council cell with nine members. This now ally of Al Qaeda is being handled and supervised by Aymaan Mohammad Al Zawahiri who also now heads the Al Qaeda.