The hockey World Cup is scheduled to begin in India on Feb. 28 and the Indian Premier League starts on March 12. Sporting organizations contacted by The Australian last night said they would rely on security reports before traveling to India, while some athletes privately expressed concerns about the latest developments. A group called the 313 Brigade, which is reportedly an operational arm of al-Qa’ida and has been linked to a number of incidents including the attacks on Mumbai last year and bombings in Islamabad, is behind the latest threats. “We warn the international community not to send their people to the 2010 Hockey World Cup, the Indian Premier League and Commonwealth Games,” said a member of the terror group. The head of India’s Institute for Conflict Management think tank said he expected Indian intelligence forces would trace back the threat to check its authenticity. “I expect we will see many more of these threats because it makes good propaganda sense to do so at this juncture,” he said. “People will be enormously disturbed by these threats and their attention will be directed to issues (such as the Kashmir dispute) that these groups want attention for.” A security spokesman for the hockey World Cup said Australian and Pakistan teams would receive the highest security levels of all visitors and that armed police would travel on the athletes’ buses. “We are taking the World Cup as a dry run for the Commonwealth Games,” a Delhi police spokesman said.