Srinagar: The terror attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama on Thursday, in which 37 jawans were killed, was preceded by an intelligence failure.
The Jammu and Kashmir police had shared an intelligence input with all security agencies two days ago of a video uploaded online which showed that such an attack may be carried out.
The clip, uploaded on a private Twitter account, which carried the threat of suicide attack, indicated its mode as well. It showed a 33 second video of troops in Somalia being attacked by militants in a similar fashion as was replicated Thursday on a bus carrying CRPF personnel at Pulwama in South Kashmir.
The Twitter handle "313_get" is not open for public viewing. It carried a threat "InshaAllah... its will same in Kashmir...endian are flying in parts...InshaAllah (sic)".
The Twitter handle is being operated using the virtual private network making it difficult for the security agencies to establish the location of its operator, they said.
The video was shared during the meeting held two days back and all security formations were alerted about a possible terror attack similar to that carried in the Twitter handle. Jammu and Kashmir police had also prepared a dummy video to explain how militants may possibly carry out such an attack, officials said.
Sources said CRPF had taken all precautions on Thursday, including sanitisation of the convoy’s route for IEDs and deployment of lookouts to detect any terrorist trying to lob grenades or open fire.
However, allowing civilian vehicles to use a stretch on the Jammu-Srinagar highway while the convoy was passing through proved disastrous. CRPF officials said the JeM suicide bomber Aadil Ahmad used the liberty provided to civilians to drive his explosive-packed vehicle from a service road onto the highway.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik accepted the attack was partly the result of an intelligence failure, especially due to the fact that security forces could not detect the loading and movement of the explosive-laden Scorpio. “We must accept that we are at fault also,” he told Indian Express.
News18 had reported one year ago that security agencies in the valley had come across mobile phone intercepts between cadre of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) suggesting that they are working together to carry out a high-profile attack in Kashmir using a vehicle laden with explosives.
According to the inputs, the two terror groups, which are acting in close coordination with each other and the Hizbul Mujahideen, were planning to carry out a 'spectacular' car or truck bomb attack in the valley.
Jaish-e-Mohammed had previously carried out such an attack in 2001 when its squad of three fidayeens stormed the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly complex in Srinagar in a Tata Sumo car laden with explosives. Over 40 people and three terrorists were killed in the attack.