LAHORE - The TTP and Al-Qaeda can stage terror attacks at airports, airbases and other such installations in Punjab, security agencies told The Nation yesterday.

“On the run and unidentified sleeper cells in different parts of Punjab can take part in acts of terror under the lead of more than four highly-trained terror operatives,” the sources said.

At least three threat alerts have been given to Punjab government this month suggesting that Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore could be the prime target and it could come under attack on a pattern seen during the Quaid-i-Azam International Airport of Karachi.

The threat alerts are based on bits of information that have come from two main sources: the revelations of six arrested members of the sleeper cells of two paralysed terror networks; and interception of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan communication at the Pak-Afghan border.

“The communication catches have been acquired from Afghan border provinces of Nangarhar, Kunar and Nooristan” where on the run TTP leadership is hiding under the protection of Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS), the sources said.

The terrorists could attack airbases and air force selection centers in Shorkot, Sargodha, Multan and Lahore. They could also try to target the military facilities in Sialkot, Gujrat and Lahore.

The threat warnings also hinted at possible attacks on the diplomatic facilities of the countries that have close ties with Pakistan, most importantly China – to damage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor programme.

From the information obtained, the planning of terror attacks on Pakistan’s military targets appears to be the joint effort of Afghan NDS and Indian external intelligence agency RAW, the sources added.

Besides the state facilities, high profile public figures too could be the target of the terrorists with leaders of a certain religio-political party of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the ruling PML-N being on top of the list. The warnings also carry threats for the media organisations and individual journalists, especially those reporting on terrorism.

The security agencies, which issued these alerts, proposed the provincial government and the security forces to take immediate measures for ensuring security at the Lahore and other airports, airbases and military facilities as well as the public figures that are under threat.

More importantly, they advised taking preemptive measures to counter security threats. In a recent recommendation, they asked the relevant quarters to take action against more than 150 black and grey category religious seminaries, most of them in Jhang (especially its Shorkot area), Sargodha, Multan, Lahore, Sialkot and Gujrat districts, which also happen to be more prone to terror attacks.

The black category seminaries are those which are directly connected with one or more of the 60 outfits that have been designated as terrorist organisations by the ministry of interior. The grey category seminaries are facilitating the banned outfit activists by giving them shelter or providing them other indirect support to execute their plans.