WASHINGTON (TIP): The enhanced threat perception India currently faces could affect foreign visitor inflow as the peak travel season begins in the country. The US Embassy in New Delhi issued on Nov 2 a terror alert for its citizens in India, warning of increased threat of Westerners being targeted in India.
Titled ‘security message for US citizens’, the alert says: “The US Embassy warns of an increased threat to places in India frequented by Westerners, such as religious sites, markets and festival venues. All US citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.”
The embassy has also mentioned increased risk from “ISIL aka Da’esh” (Islamic State terror group) and asked its citizens to refer to the “worldwide caution” issued by the US state department less than two months ago.
Regarding India specifically, the US state department caution issued on September 9, 2016, says: “India continues to experience terrorist and insurgent activities which may affect US citizens directly or indirectly. Anti-western terrorist groups active in India include Islamist extremist groups such as Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Indian Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and Lashkar-e-Taiba.”
The caution was issued nine days before the Uri attack and since then India is on the highest possible alert. The US embassy warning comes at a time when inbound tourism season is starting. “The heightened tensions between India and Pakistan; the war-like situation on the line of control in Kashmir and overall enhanced security across India.