KARACHI: Pakistan’s security czar has revealed that an extremist group of US citizens of Pakistani origin – Jamaat-e-Islami (Sa’ee) – has been clandestinely working to establish an Islamic caliphate system in the world.
“Imad Riaz, a Pakistani-origin official of the Jamaat-e-Islami (Sa’ee), was extradited by the US authorities to Pakistan on November 19,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik told journalists during a visit to the Anti-Human Smuggling Circle of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in Karachi.
Malik added that intelligence officials were interrogating Riaz and that the US and Saudi Arabia were also helping in the investigation process.
According to FIA sources, Riaz disclosed during interrogation that he was associated with California-based Jamaat-e-Islami (Sa’ee), which was working secretly to establish an Islamic caliphate system in the world.
He also revealed that their group was planning to attack US military installations in California. And they had also gathered information about Israeli embassy from the Internet.
According to the FIA sources, Riaz – a resident of the Jublee neighbourhood of Karachi – had shifted to the United States five years ago. His family, including mother, father and brother, are still living in California.
Riaz told interrogators that he met with two persons, whom he identified as Shahab and Bilal, at a mosque near his home in California. The pair was already associated with the Jamaat-e-Islami (Sa’ee).
He disclosed that the group was planning a terrorist attack on a military installation in the region. And for this purpose they had looted five gas stations in the neighbourhood. “The looted money was used to finance the group’s activities,” sources quoted Riaz as telling his interrogators.
Riaz also said that he used to provide only logistic support and did not take active part in robberies. Apart from this he also used to surf different Web sites on the Internet to identify targets to his group for terrorist attacks.
He said that he had given information about the Israeli Embassy and its staff to Shahab and Bilal. However, none of the targets were hit.
Riaz was arrested by US authorities five years back on charges of terrorism and highway robbery. He was sentenced to five years in prison by a US court after he confessed to his crimes. He was extradited to Pakistan on November 19 after serving his five-year jail term.
According to interrogators, the Jamaat-e-Islami (Sa’ee) is a US-based extremist group and it does not exist in Pakistan. Apart from the FIA, other intelligence agencies are also questioning Riaz. They are also studying whether or not Riaz could be tried in Pakistan.
On the other hand, Malik also told journalists that the top leadership of the Taliban was not in Quetta. However, he added that if proof was provided about their presence in Balochistan, the government would definitely take action against them.
About the slain PPP chairperson, Malik disclosed that five attempts were made to assassinate Benazir Bhutto. And that they have sent questionnaires to the people who had been named by Ms Bhutto.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2010.
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