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Pathankot Terror Attack: Missed Clues Before Air Base Was Attacked

Pathankot/Punjab; Jan.5:  Even as the counter-terror operations enter the fourth day at the Pathankot Indian Air Force base, there are several questions being raised about the security and the preparedness of our security forces.

Three days since the attack in which seven military personnel were martyred and 20 were wounded, five terrorists have also been eliminated, but an operation is still under way to secure the sprawling air base in Punjab that lies 25 km from the border with Pakistan.

Many are also stating that there were some clues and lapses, which could have avoided this entire incident from becoming a debacle.

Officials and security experts can't help but raise the issue of the hijacking of a police officer's car a day before. The hijacking of a police officer's car by terrorists disguised in uniform should have set off alarm bells and helped prevent a deadly weekend attack on a military air base.

Police Superintendent Salwinder Singh's complaint of his car being hijacked was not taken seriously because his record has not been clean.

Furthermore, it was 12 hours after Singh's car was hijacked that the terrorists launched the attack on the air base, which warrants the question: "How were they allowed to roam around for 24 hours?"

Furthermore, a lack of inter-agency cooperation may have hobbled the security response.

Another greater weakness at the base, with a 24-km perimeter and a 3-metre (10-foot) wall topped by barbed wire, may have been a lack of adequate surveillance.

There have been conflicting reports of how many attackers were involved in the raid, since claimed by the United Jihad Council, an alliance of more than a dozen terror groups based in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.

Tight security along the border with Pakistan in Kashmir has pushed terrorist attacks south to Punjab.

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