Lashkar-e-Taiba planned to strike at World Cup final

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Old 12-Apr-2011
Lashkar-e-Taiba planned to strike at World Cup final

New Delhi: The terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) planned to attack the cricket World Cup final in Mumbai, but the plot was thwarted by the Indian intelligence and security network, said Home Secretary G.K. Pillai.

"The World Cup threats were for real. We had evidence in terms of communication intercepts that the LeT was planning," Pillai said.

He said the plot to attack was specific to the final match between India and Sri Lanka at Wankhede Stadium on April 2. "There was enough evidence that they were planning the strike in Mumbai," he said.

This is the first official home ministry confirmation of reports that Pakistan-based militants were trying to disrupt the world cup final.

Intelligence Bureau sources had earlier said the most important cricketing event in India would be a target for terrorists. Intercepts on the threats suggested that some terrorists had managed forged passes and fake identity cards for the final venue and were planning to carry out a suicide attack.

The government had thrown up a three-tier security check, including metal detectors, baggage detectors and sniffer dogs, and people were frisked before they were allowed entry into the stadium.

Over 6,000 security personnel were stationed in and around the Wankhede Stadium area, outside Churchgate station, to secure the 33,000-strong crowd of spectators.

The event was watched by a number of VVIPs, including President Pratibha Patil, her Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapakse, top Indian leaders, businessmen and film personalities.

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