India’s Western Naval Command headquarters reported that the U.S. consulate in Kolkata, India received a threat that both it and our consulate in Mumbai have been targeted for a bomb attack — on July 21.
Terrorists in India are a very polite lot. They believe in making their bombing reservations well in advance. The bomb threat, which was reported Monday by The Times of India, arrived at the Kolkata consulate-general’s office and immediately turned over to the Western Naval command headquarters.
Since the 2008 three-day coordinated terrorist attacks in Mumbai that began Nov. 26, Indian authorities have taken such threats very seriously. The 2008 incident was carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is the largest Islamic jihadist organization in south Asia and operates out of Pakistan.
The single-page threat sent to the U.S. consulate was headed “Al-Jihad,” as if to indicate the name of an organization. It directed that the consulate buildings should be vacated before July 21, and said, “We shall carry out blasts in public places and railway stations of Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai in July this year,” according to The Times report.
The report continued:
It was unclear when the US consulate received the letter and why July 21 was chosen. 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.
Although religion is very important to the people of India, the majority of the population — 80.5 percent — are Hindus, and only 13.4 percent practice Islam. Islam, however, is the state religion of Pakistan, India’s neighbor to the north, and 95 to 98 percent of Pakistanis are Muslim.
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