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international news _ 18th December, 2006

Israel Issues Goa Al Qaeda Alert

Text by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

Israel’s Foreign Ministry and Counter-Terrorism Division are warning travellers to stay away from Goa this Christmas after intelligence suggested Al Qaeda killers are seriously planning a Bali style attack on the rave resort.

“In the upcoming weeks travelers to Goa are under serious terror threat of terror attacks by al-Qaeda,” the ministry warning said this week.

“In the frame of the al-Qaeda terror threat in India, there is now also a concrete threat centering on the Goa region, where there are many Israeli tourists, at the end of the calendar year.” (Ynetnews.com)

Respected intelligence portal Debka.com said al Qaeda is at ‘an advanced stage of preparing coordinated attacks on the big, end-of-year seasonal parties held by Western and Israeli tourists’ with Israeli travellers urged to stay home ‘or at least stay away from the big parties’.

Ironically, the genuine terror alert came weeks after local police chief Brijendra Singh Brar branded ravers as ‘worse than terrorists’ as he announced plans to deploy sniffer dogs at parties over the coming holiday season.

“The Goa police will deal with a firm hand the drug menace in the state. It is the worst type of terrorism. Drugs destroy our youth,” he said (Navhind Times).

And several months earlier Goa's Deputy Chief Minister and Tourism chief Dr Wilfred D'Souza, also told ravers they’re no longer welcome, as he announced a formal10pm curfew on parties throughout the state.

“We don't care about tourists who attend rave or trance parties,” Dr D’Souza, a long-term opponent of parties, told the Mid Day Mombai, “People better obey the directive.”

English language portal OhMyNews also warned travellers to think twice about swimming in the sea, in a report headlined ‘Death Stalking Goa Beaches.’

“With at least one or two drowning deaths per week Goa is increasingly gaining notoriety for the danger on its beaches,” said OhmyNews.com.

“Numerous Indian tourists from various parts of the country invariably fall into the trap of just dipping their feet in the sea water or swimming in the shallow beach waters and end up getting dragged in by the undercurrent, only to be engulfed by the furious monsoon waves,” they warned.

The most notorious drownings have happened at Calungute beach, the website added, once one of Goa’s most infamous party hot spots.

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