ISLAMABAD: Sectarian groups Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Jundallah are in the process of splitting into small cells in Karachi and Quetta and might launch lethal attacks against “important personalities and places” in the near future, an intelligence report said.
Jundallah, an anti-Shia outfit with origins in Iran’s Sistan and Pakistan’s Balochistan province, has divided itself into at least three groups to operate independently in southern cities.
Several activists from the LeJ, a group alleged to have close links with al Qaeda, are also in nexus with Jundallah to make their alliance more “terrible”, said the report obtained by The Express Tribune.
Though the one-page communication between an intelligence agency and provincial law enforcement departments doesn’t give reasons for this move by sectarian jihadi outfits, experts see it as a part of a new strategy to ‘confuse’ those operating against them.
One of three groups, an intelligence official said, was behind the attack on the al Quds rally organised by the Imamia Students Organisation in Quetta on September 2 this year that killed more than 50 people.
The groups are led by Sheikh Abdul Baqi, Azizullah Irani and Qari Zaheer Abbas, the report added.
“All these are active in carrying out sabotage activities in Quetta,” the report said.
Azizullah Irani of the Jundallah group, who is active in Quetta and Karachi and is alleged to be receiving foreign funding, was reportedly involved in the al Quds rally attack.
The next target of the group can be leaders of Shia and Ismailia communities in Karachi, the report warned, adding that they also plan to kidnap wealthy businessmen for ransom.
Abbas used to be an active member of Dawood Badani’s networks and after Badanis’ arrest he joined Saifullah Usmani, who is also a wanted terrorist, the report disclosed without giving details of these characters. “Now Qari Zaheer Abbas is second-in-command of Saifullah Usmani and is heading one of his five terrorist groups,” the report added. All these tiny cells are active in and around Karachi and might move to Quetta in case they don’t feel secure in the port city.
The intelligence outfits have urged the government to be on high alert to avert possible attacks by these groups.
“It is imperative that necessary arrangements and preemptive fool-proof security measures be adopted for the protection of intended targets and personalities,” it said.
“The present situation warrants close coordination among intelligence agencies for sharing information and helping nab the terrorist before they succeed in their nefarious designs and plans,” the report said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2010.
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