LAHORE: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been alerted against terror attacks in two districts and three key military and police officials, security services sources told The Nation yesterday. The terror alert is quite specific in nature, they said.

According to the alert, the terrorists have plans to assassinate one army officer and two police officers in Peshawar, and strike at military installations and educational institutes in Nowshehra and Swat districts.

The province’s Bacha Khan University (BKU) in Charsadda was struck by four terrorists on January 20 who massacred 21 people, most of them were students. The terrorists were later taken out in an operation by the Army’s Special Services Group.

KP had received an alert by the security agencies that its educational institutes could come under attack but the terrorists succeeded in reaching their target because of failure of the BKU authorities to follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) prepared by the security agencies, district administration and education department.

A fresh intelligence input tagged as “Most Immediate and Classified” and sent to KP government on January 26 says, “Four terrorists aged 22 to 24 have been prepared by the outlawed TTP to carry out attacks in Nowshehra and Swat districts.”

Nowshehra district houses Air Force Academy, Risalpur, as well as other military facilities and selection centers.

The commanders in these districts dealing with overall security issues and supervising armed forces’ facilities have been requested to be more vigilant with heightened security measures especially for the educational institutions, it added.

“A splinter of TTP, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar has planned target killing of a senior member of the army and two of the police. Colonel Ahmed Ali Jan, resident of Baksho Pul, Charsadda Road, Peshawar, is the terrorists’ target in army. Sarfraz Ali Shah, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Ex-Special Branch), resident of Zaryab Colony, Charsadda Road, Peshawar, is one of the two police officers on the hit list,” said the intelligence information. Strict check is advised on Torkham Border on the incoming traffic, besides key passes at Pak-Afghan border with Nangarhar, Kunar and Nooristan provinces of Afghanistan. High vigil in Khyber Agency linking with Nangarhar is also advised, it added.

A member of the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar sleeper cell in the course of his interrogations revealed unknown facilitators of his group have completed the scouting of the two targets, said the security services sources.

However, the security sources declined to share information on the background of Mr Jan and Mr Shah because of the sensitivity of the tasks they had done while discharging their professional responsibilities.

The information relating to the four TTP attackers was secured in the result of communication interceptions of the terrorists at Pak-Afghan border areas, they added.

The assessments of the security agencies suggest the terrorists could target the military facilities in the two districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including the military-run educational institutions, Risalpur academy being the obvious high-value target.

The assessments further suggest terrorists can shift their focus from civilian targets to the military as all the security agencies are focusing on the educational institutions working in private and public domain of the civilian sector, said the sources.

Targeting Swat district is aimed at challenging the military power which has maintained peace in the province with one brigade strength after a military operation against the militants. The valley was cleansed of Mullah Fazalullah and his banned group in the result of September 2009 Operation Rah-e-Rast led by Major General (r) Ijaz Awan.

The assessments said the terrorists want to shake the military power in Swat to convince the masses that they are invincible. However, blowing of their sleeper cells in advance could demoralise their will and capacity to strike, they added.