Posted by: Titus Presler | November 19, 2009

Inquiry widens into suspects in terror probe that included Woodstock School

The arrest in Chicago last month of two people suspected of plotting terror attacks on Woodstock School and Doon School in the Himalayas and on Delhi’s National Defense College has prompted a global inquiry that has resulted in arrests in Pakistan and implicated a former Pakistani military officer, according to a report in today’s New York Times, “Ex-Military Officer in Pakistan is Linked to 2 Chicago Terrorism Suspects.”

The original spate of stories about the plot was discussed in this blog in a posting on Nov. 5.  Woodstock is not mentioned by name in today’s story but may be included in mention of “targets in India” said to have been encouraged by Pakistani military and intelligence officials.  At the same time, it is not clear whether the original accounts by Indian news organizations that included Woodstock among the targets were based on speculation or on confirmation by law enforcement authorities.

Evidently it is thought that the two arrested were planning to attack employees of a Danish newspaper that, in the globally publicized 2005 case, published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.  Authorities are also investigating links the two may have had to the 26 November 2008 bombings in Mumbai.

Friends of Woodstock School, which has long – but not exclusively – educated children of Christian missionaries serving in south Asia and elsewhere, will be interested in the comment that officials believe the case “reflected a new and evolving pattern of individual militants with different backgrounds and experience, rather than terrorist groups, teaming up to plot and carry out attacks.”

On Nov. 18 Woodstock Principal David Laurensen wrote to parents and board members about the security situation, saying in part:

On the security front, last week was quiet at the school with the staff and students going about their business and absorbing the restrictions we have posed on them without question. On Monday, I again briefed the student body
and staff giving them an update of the situation and the meetings I had had with various people last week.

On Tuesday of last week, a representative from the American Embassy visited campus and he did a preliminary reconnaissance exercise in preparation for the visit of a more senior member of the Embassy’s security division.  In light of the fact that we have over 100 Americans on campus the American Embassy is treating the situation seriously.  On Wednesday of last week Ben Lall and I met with the Chief Minister of the State of Uttarakhand.  We apprised him of the current situation and thanked him for the police presence that he has provided.  Towards the end of November I will be meeting with the Senior Secretary to the Chief Minister at which time we are going to reassess the situation and determine next steps including the deployment of the government forces stationed here.

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Responses

  1. “The Lord is our strength and shield.” We
    will be fervently remembering in prayer
    Woodstock and Mussoorie.


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