Dec. 24, 2010 — -- A terror alert has been issued in Mumbai, India, where police are searching for four men suspected of entering the city with plans to carry out a terrorist attack.
Indian police believe the men belong to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the militant group based in Pakistan that was allegedly responsible for the three-day terrorist siege in Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people.
The group is planning to strike over the holidays, around the Christmas and New Year festivities, police said, according to an Associated Press report.
"It is going to be a violent attack which will cause disruptions," said Himanshu Roy, the joint commissioner of the Mumbai Police at a news conference. "The four have recently arrived in Mumbai. We believe the threat is serious.
"We are not in a position to reveal their nationalities now but they are LeT members," said Roy, who did release the sketch of one of the four suspected militants.
The four men were named as Abdul Karim Musa, Walid Jinnah, Noor Abul Elahi and Mehfooz Alam.
Police put additional men on duty in public places and set up checkpoints along the city's major roads today. They closed roads near the Gateway of India landmark and the Taj Mahal hotel. Traffic and activity in most of Mumbai, however, has remained normal.
The Wake of the 2008 Attack in Mumbai
In November 2008, Islamic terrorists from Pakistan coordinated more than 10 different attacks in Mumbai, targeting, among other locations, the Taj Mahal hotel, a Jewish Center, Mumbai's main train station and a popular restaurant. The attacks put India's largest city and financial capital under siege for three days.
Since then, police are more prone to sound the terror alarm, but no serious attacks have been carried out.
According to Mumbai police, they prevented a major terrorist attack in March of this year when they arrested two Indian men allegedly planning to attack several targets in the city.
Mumbai police issued a terror alert during a Hindu festival in September after receiving information that two Islamist militants, on orders from handlers in Pakistan, were preparing to carry out an attack.
India and Pakistan have a tenuous relationship. India has asked its neighbor repeatedly to crack down on terrorists harbored in the country's mountainous land. The Pakistani government has banned Lashkar-e-Taiba officially, but many believe the militant group garners support from Pakistan's military and intelligence agency.