The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hole to pole, potential threats all

New Delhi, Feb. 27: The US Secret Service is leaving nothing to chance as it goes about its job of protecting the President: it has given its tips to the Indian home ministry but will anyway keep watch from eyes in the sky.

Home ministry sources said the US federal law enforcement agency has handed Indian officials entrusted with George W. Bush’s security a six-point list of possible ways militants might choose to strike.

These include sewer lines and manholes, telegraph and electricity wiring and poles, landmines, car bombs, rocket launchers and flying objects, including pilotless planes.

The agency is particularly concerned about threats from the Bangladesh wing of the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Harkat-ul-Jehadi-e-Islam. It is believed to have specific information that militants are sneaking into Delhi to flex their muscles during Bush’s visit.

The threat perception is greater from the Bangladesh wing of the Lashkar than the Pakistan one as Bush would be visiting Islamabad and adequate security measures would be in place there, the sources said.

Delhi police and paramilitary forces have begun enforcing security measures on and around the route Bush’s cavalcade will be taking ' from Maurya Sheraton, where he will be staying, to Rajghat, Hyderabad House, Rashtrapati Bhavan and, finally, Purana Qila.

Bomb disposal squads with mobile scanners mounted on trucks are already out on the streets sanitising sewers en route to Rajghat.

Delhi police commissioner K.K. Paul is personally handling the security arrangements. Internal security officials who have been roped in are liaising with the US secret service and Delhi police.

Thousands of telephone lines between Delhi and probable militant hubs in Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Assam and Bengal are being monitored round the clock.

Precautionary detentions have been made in some Uttar Pradesh towns and in Delhi. Vigil is being kept on the Jamaati-Ulema-al-Hind.

Despite the arrangements on the ground, US satellites will track Bush’s movements. Data sent by the satellites to the Global Positioning System facility in some vehicles will be used to navigate his cavalcade.

These vehicles are fitted with powerful electronic jamming devices that will block signals sent from remote-controlled devices, the sources said.

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