KARACHI: Law enforcement agencies claimed to have arrested another highly educated professional in Karachi on Sunday for his alleged connections with the terrorists involved in the Safoora massacre.
The suspect was said to have been working for al Qaeda since 2008 and was also good friends with Saad Aziz, the alleged mastermind of the brazen attack on the Ismaili Muslim community in May last year.
Police said Dr Usman Ali Khan was arrested after a shootout near the Shalimar bus stand in Saddar. The Preedy police launched the raid after a tip-off about his presence.
A Kalashnikov was seized from the suspect, who was shifted to the Preedy police station. Dr Usman is a dentist and runs a clinic in the Ayesha Manzil neighbourhood, police said.
Preedy SHO Kamal Naseem said Dr Usman was associated with al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and had links with the main outfit since 2008. “He also enjoyed good relations with the Saad Aziz group of militants,” he added.
The officer said the dentist used to generate funds for al Qaeda and also gave shelter to militants of the globally proscribed organisation. “He is a resident of Federal B Area and runs his dental clinic near Ayesha Manzil where many militants visited him as well,” he added.
Apart from Saad and his three close accomplices involved in the Safoora carnage, the counter-terrorism police have also detained several well-educated suspects. Those arrested include Adil Masood Butt, the vice-chancellor of a private college and university; and Khalid Yousuf Bari, a former engineer at the national airline.
Three others rounded up for their involvement – Saleem Ahmed, Suleman Saeed and Sheeba Ahmed – have been freed. While Bari is imprisoned, Butt is still on his 90-day preventive custody with police unable to bring concrete evidence against both.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2016.