Two small explosions rocked India on Saturday, March 18, one day after a pro- Islamic State (ISIS) media group threatened to launch an attack on the Taj Mahal. No one was hurt in the twin bombings which occurred near the Cantonment Railway station and on the rooftop of a nearby house in the tourist city of Agra.
"A link has been circulated in which it is claimed that Taj Mahal is on the target of ISIS. We are probing it. However, security has been enhanced in and around the monument," Daljeet Singh Chowdhury, additional director general of police (law and order), told Times Now.
The Provincial Armed Constabulary boosted security at the 17th-century monument to love prompted by a graphic illustration released by the ISIS-affiliated Ahwaal Ummat Media Center showing India's biggest tourist attraction being a target of terrorism.
The poster showed a fighter in combat fatigues, black headgear and armed with an assault rifle standing against the backdrop of the Taj Mahal with the words "new target" below it. It also depicted a van and dynamite sticks with a timer and the text "Agra martyrdom-seeker," which implied the threat of suicide bombing.
"There have been no specific intelligence inputs or any official alerts, but going by media reports we have stepped up security at the Taj," SSP Preetender Singh told AFP. "Security drills are being carried out on a six-hourly basis instead of the usual daily drill."
The bomb squad and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team were deployed to patrol the Yamuna river bank. The police don't want to take any chances even if nature of the threat remained unclear. "Based on the inputs so far, we have beefed up the security and are fully prepared to handle any eventuality," Singh added.
India's 138 million Muslims comprise a minority 14 percent to the country's 1.2 billion-strong population. Its main religion is Hinduism with 812 million adherents representing 80 percent. The rest are divided among Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians.