Advisory against travel to India dropped

Counterterrorism Bureau

The Prime Minister's Office Counterterrorism Bureau on Tuesday canceled a two-month old advisory against travel to India which recommended that Israelis refrain from frequenting popular tourist spots, Chabad houses and other Jewish sites. The advisory was dropped, the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement, after plans to launch a terror attack against Israelis had been foiled. The bureau issued the travel advisory in October, claiming to have intelligence information of a "concrete threat" against Israelis. The advisory recommended that Israelis avoid sites that do not have official security personnel screening people at the door. While the bureau lifted the general advisory on India, it kept in place an earlier advisory to refrain from visiting Kashmir. In the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, gunmen assaulted that city's Chabad House, killing emissaries Gabriel and Rivka Holtzberg and four others. In total, 166 people were killed in the attacks. The bureau lowered the level of alert even though last Friday, Indian Home Minister Rabvi Navik said terrorist groups were planning "spectacular violence" in Goa, India - considered a prime target due to the large presence of tourists from Israel and the United States. Navik may have been referring to the recent FBI arrest of two Chicago men who were allegedly working for the Pakistani terror group Lashkar e-Taiba and were plotting a fresh series of attacks against India, with a focus on synagogues and Chabad centers. Meanwhile Tuesday, Defense Ministry Director-General Pinhas Buchris met in New Delhi with top Indian officials for talks that focused on strengthening relations between the countries, particularly in the field of counterterrorism. During his stay in India, Buchris will meet with Indian Defense Minister AK Antony, army chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor and air force chief Marshal PV Naik. Officials quoted in the Indian press said that the talks will focus on counterterrorism and intelligence sharing as well as military trade.