A Central agency tasked with tracking the jihadi groups active in the Kashmir valley could have prevented Tuesday’s terror attack at a BSF camp in the heart of Srinagar, if only the agency sleuths acted on the inputs generated by “informers”, who had given an inkling of it well in advance to the officers concerned. These informers, who are experts in cyber-syping, had generated specific inputs that the cadre of Jaish-e-Mohammad was planning to carry out a spectacular attack in Srinagar, which involved attacking “air” related targets. These informers had also shared the mobile numbers of some of the Jaish overground workers who were tasked with assisting the three terrorists who carried out the fidayeen attack and killed one BSF ASI before being eliminated by the security forces.
The information generated by the informers also included a list of Pakistani numbers which were being used to plan the attack. However, it appears that the officer with whom the numbers were shared on Friday, three days before the attack, did not follow up on the link or forward the numbers to his seniors. If he had done so and the numbers had been put under surveillance, the security agencies would have known that an attack was imminent and could have either arrested those who were helping the attackers or could have increased the security around the complex that houses the BSF office and which is located at the entrance of the Srinagar International Airport, which is also an Air Force base.
The terror attack had taken place in the high-security zone close to the Srinagar airport just before daybreak. The attack began around 4am at the 182 Battalion Camp of the BSF, located in a highly sanitised area, which also houses an Indian Air Force base, a CRPF camp and an NIA office. Jaish-e-Mohammed later claimed the attack on the BSF facility, which came a little over a month after a similar attack in Pulwama on 26 August in which eight security personnel were killed by the outfit.
Indian security agencies said that it was the “Afzal Guru squad” of the banned organisation which executed the attack. Jaish was also involved in one of the deadliest attacks on an Army installation in Uri in September 2016, in which 18 soldiers lost their lives.