The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is planning attacks on the Pakistan Air Force Base and other military and security establishments in Lahore before Eid, according to intelligence reports received by the Home Department.
The intelligence reports, which have been forwarded to the inspector general of Punjab Police and other officials concerned, stated that at least two TTP teams had made arrangements for attacks in revenge for the killing of Ghaffar Qaiserani alias Saifullah, an alleged TTP leader, in a shootout with the police at Dera Ghazi Khan on August 1.
According to one report, members of the Qari Yasin Group, initially a part of the Harkatul Mujahideen, which started in the Punjab and was later based in Miranshah in North Waziristan, were planning to attack the PAF base and installations near the PAF Market on Ramazan 27 or 28 (August 21 or 22).
Another stated that a team led by Qari Aslam alias Ustad of the Moavia Group, also based in Miranshah, was also planning terrorist attacks towards the end of Ramazan. Their main target was likely to be the PAF base, or other security establishments like the offices of the Inter Service Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI), Intelligence Bureau or Counter Terrorism Department. Reconnaissance of the targets has already been done, the report states.
It stated that the plots had been financed by the kidnapping of some doctors from Taunsa Sharif, Dera Ghazi Khan, which had netted Rs2.5 million in ransom, enough to buy a black Honda City car, weapons, explosives and four suicide vests. The car has been rigged with explosives and is being kept at an unknown location in Kabirwala tehsil, Khanewal district, stated the report. The group had also selected targets for assassinations and kidnapping in the Punjab as well, it added.
The intelligence reports stated that the Badami Bagh fruit market blasts on August 1 and an IED blast in an Elite Force vehicle on August 2 were carried out by the TTP in revenge for the killing of Qaiserani. Further retaliatory attacks on public places and government establishments were possible, the reports stated.
Another report revealed a plot to blow up an oil tanker along the route used to supply NATO forces in Afghanistan. It stated that an IED had been found on an oil tanker at Taheemabad on the Layyah-Kot Addu Road, in the jurisdiction of Kot Sultan police station, on August 7. The driver noticed the device placed above the tyres and alerted local authorities. Police and civil defence officials defused the device before it exploded
The reports have been forwarded to the capital city police officer and the provincial heads of the intelligence agencies. A circular issued by the Home Department to law enforcement agencies reads:
“Security arrangements at establishments of LEAs [law enforcement agencies] and vulnerable public places need to be beefed up. The present situation warrants close coordination among all the intelligence agencies for sharing information and helping in nabbing the terrorists before they succeed in their nefarious designs. It is required that preventive measures be adopted.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2012.