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Al Qaeda Letter Threatens to Blow Up Taj Mahal in India

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in response to reader comment: Muslim Terrorists is appropriate name

Submitted by Nagesh (India), Aug 18, 2006 at 15:06

LUCKNOW, India — Police in northern India have heightened security around the Taj Mahal after receiving a letter threatening to blow up the monument, officials said Friday.

Sandbag bunkers have been set up outside the towering entrance gates leading to the 17th century monument and soldiers belonging to an anti-terrorist squad have been posted on 24-hour duty, said Ashok Kumar, a senior government official in Uttar Pradesh state where the Taj Mahal is located.

Police were investigating a handwritten letter purportedly sent by an Al Qaeda supporter, saying the terrorist group planned to carry out blasts at the Taj Mahal.

Police were skeptical about the letter, but had begun investigations, Kumar said Friday.

"Police are verifying the source of the letter," he said. "The letter could be false but we cannot afford to be complacent. We are not taking any chances and have enhanced security at the Taj."

"The letter, signed by someone calling himself Mohammed Mirza and claiming to be associated with the Al Qaeda, was received at the office of the superintendent of police in Agra on Thursday," Kumar said.

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