Mumbai: Cops get '26/11-like' attack warning from Pakistan-based number

Mumbai: Cops get '26/11-like' attack warning from Pakistan-based number

As per initial reports, the number was traced to a Lahore-based gardener, who denied any role and claimed that his number was hacked.

Kalpesh MhamunkarUpdated: Saturday, August 20, 2022, 10:59 PM IST
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Mumbai: Cops get '26/11-like' attack warning from Pakistan-based number | File Image

The Mumbai police have received a bunch of text messages from a Pakistan phone number, warning of a “26/11-like” attack on the city, officials said on Saturday. Police sources said a person from Virar has been detained and the crime branch is questioning him to probe the seriousness of the threat. Meanwhile, the police have launched ‘Sagar Kavach’ operation by beefing up coastal security.

Joint Commissioner of Police Suhas Warke, however, said no detentions or arrests have been made and refused to disclose any names.

Officials said the messages were received on a WhatsApp helpline number of traffic police’s Worli control room at 11:45 pm on Friday. While one message stated that six people would execute the attack, another said preparations were on to blow up Mumbai which will bring back the memories of the 26/11 attack, sources said. In yet another message, the sender warned of attacks similar to Sidhu Moosewala murder and the killing of a tailor in Udaipur.

As per initial reports, the number was traced to a Lahore-based gardener, who denied any role and claimed that his number was hacked.

At a media interaction on Saturday, Mumbai’s Commissioner of Police Vivek Phansalkar said that there was a mention of 26/11 attacks, terrorist Ajmal Kasab and (deceased) Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in the messages, and the Lahore angle is being probed.

He said, “It was also mentioned that some of their aides were working in India. We have taken the messages seriously. The citizens’ safety and security is our responsibility.” He added that the police are alert on coastal security and are coordinating with the Coast Guard.

Phansalkar added that the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Sqad (ATS) is also working on the case in coordination with the police and other agencies. Meanwhile, a First Information Report (FIR) has been registered under the Indian Penal Code section 506 (2) (criminal intimidation) at Worli Police Station regarding the threat messages.

Asked about the fact that the messages were in Hindi and not in Urdu and whether there was an attempt to create a fake IP address so that the messages would appear to have come from a Pakistani number, Phansalkar said, “We cannot rule out any possibility without investigation.”

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