London: A plot to target or kidnap British athletes and fans coming to India for the 2010 Commonwealth Games has emerged over their country’s support to the war in Afghanistan.
Security sources have warned of “specific intelligence” about a threat by an unnamed al Qaeda-linked group to take hostages in front of a global television audience.
Reports emerging from Australia suggest a number of countries are worried but will not upgrade travel warnings for fear of angering India.
They said citizens of Australia, the UK, Canada and New Zealand could be targets of a snatch attempt because their countries supported the war in Afghanistan.
Australia has asked fans not to wear national colours and in Britain it has emerged that security forces will work with counterparts from Canada, Australia and New Zealand to protect athletes at every venue.
“It is a serious situation. There is specific intelligence about an attempted hostage snatch. People travelling to India, and particularly Delhi, need to be aware of the risks,” The Daily Express quoted a source, as saying.
There are also concerns about Pakistani group Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) getting into the act, after Michael Leiter, director of the US National Counter-Terrorism Centre, told the US Senate the games would make “an appealing target”.