LAHORE - The terrorists belonging to TTP, its splinters and Al-Qaeda can strike, Punjab forcing their entry into the province from northern and southern borders, security officials told The Nation, quoting fresh threat assessments based on intelligence inputs.

However, specific threat assessments said that terrorist gangs operating from Afghan soil have planned to launch suicide attacks on security agencies’ facilities’ focusing on the provincial capital.

The attacks can also be staged in other important cities of Punjab, focusing on the same targets. The specific threat warning dates are from August 21 to 27. The possible suicide bombers can use explosives-laden vehicles to attack their targets, added the security officials.

When asked whether it would be possible in the current security situation to carry explosive-laden vehicles from another city or province, the security officials claimed the chances were minimal, but possibilities could not be ruled out completely.

The terrorists utilising the assistance of local facilitators are likely to come with explosive-laden vehicles or more than one vehicle by using some old vehicles locally in Lahore, said one of the senior officers close to the developments.

Another assessment suggests that security agencies might have raised the ‘false alarm’ in the result of specific assessment and the attackers might have created diversion to hit a soft target by spreading untrue information, they said.

The intelligence inputs gathered from informants and technical sources insisted that specific target of the terrorists is security agencies facilities in the provincial capital.

Security officials refused to share information over a tentative list of soft targets falling both into public and private domains for the security of the operations to foil terrorists’ bids.

Security agencies are looking into the workshops of those famous for vehicle assembling, besides checking the business details of the persons’ dealing in chemicals and explosives and other material to prepare explosive-laden vehicles, they added.

In July 2015, head of Al-Qaeda Pakistan chapter, known only with the codename of ‘Abdali,’ was killed in an intelligence-led operation in Kala Shah Kaku area of Sheikhupura district.

Abdali had planned to attack the Punjab headquarters of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) in the provincial capital and other important official installations as well as important figures.

Deadly attacks have been carried out on top security agencies offices at the height of terrorism during the PPP-led coalition government.

However, Operation Zarb-e-Azb, Khyber operations series and special search and comb, and search and destroy operations have considerably cut down the terror hits and most of the hard-hit terror networks now operating from Afghan soil.